Pets are part of the family: We buy them comfortable beds, fun toys, treats from bakeries, and the best food we can afford. Unfortunately, the shortcuts taken by some pet food manufacturers have led to improperly treated food that can harbor pathogens, like salmonella, listeria, and E. coli. Pets are sometimes sickened—and so are the people they live with.
The FDA has scrutinized pet food manufacturers more closely in recent years, resulting in an increase in voluntary recalls—some of those for pathogens. At the same time, sales of raw food for pets has seen a sharp increase as health-conscious pet owners seek the best nutrition for their furry friends. But quality assurance practices haven’t kept pace: In a two-year study, the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine found that raw food for dogs and cats tested positive for salmonella or listeria at a much high rate than processed pet foods.
Not everyone agrees with the numbers broadcast by the FDA in their press releases. Even as pet owners speak out, manufacturers need to stay ahead of the curve with rigorous sanitation and testing, and well-equipped QA departments. It’s no secret, after all, that good QA practices will help keep the FDA warning letters away.
[Photo credit: Image by Herepup, CC BY 2.0]