It is possible for you to come down with a food-borne illness from pet food contaminated with bacteria such as Salmonella, which can cause unpleasant symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. While most people realize that raw meat can be a source of food-borne illnesses, many pet parents do not realize that even dry kibble and pet treats can be contaminated with Salmonella or other bacteria. You can greatly reduce your risk of becoming sick from handling your pet’s food by following a few simple tips:
- Most importantly, wash your hands. You should wash your hands with soap and hot water before and after handling pet food or treats.
- After each use, thoroughly wash pet food bowls, utensils, food scoops and anything else that comes into contact with your pet’s food with soap and hot water.
- Store pet food properly. Dry food should be stored in a secure plastic container kept in a cool, dry place. Uneaten canned food should be disposed of, or immediately covered and refrigerated for no longer than three days.
- Avoid cross-contamination of pet food with human food. Thoroughly clean and sanitize any counter-tops or cutting boards where pet food has been prepared before preparing human food.
It is worth the few extra moments necessary to follow safe food handling techniques to reduce the risk of acquiring a food-borne illness.