You know you need to be vigilant about preventing salmonella when handling raw chicken, but you might not be aware that pet food, treats and vitamins also pose serious contamination dangers.
The Food and Drug Administration recalled 13 pet products from 2006 to 2008 due to possible salmonella contamination, according to Casey Barton Behravesh, veterinary epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One manufacturer might make as many as 20 different brands of pet food, so contamination scares can be widespread and involve multiple products.
Kids are at greater risk, Behravesh says, because small children often grab and put pet food in their mouths if they have access to it, and their less-developed immune systems make them more susceptible than adults to getting sick from salmonella-tainted pet food.
To keep your family safe from salmonella, be aware of potential hazards of multitasking, such as preparing your baby’s bottle right after dumping food in Fido’s bowl, and always wash your hands after feeding pets. Feed pets in a room away from where your food is prepared, and clean their bowls outside if possible. Never use the same sponges on animal bowls that you use for your own, and always disinfect your kitchen sink after washing them.