Many people don’t realize that the basic principles of food safety apply to their pets’ foods too. For example, pet food or treats contaminated with Salmonella can cause infections in dogs and cats. And contaminated pet food that is not handled properly can cause serious illness in people too, especially children.
If you’re a pet owner, one of the most important things you can do to keep your pets, your family, and yourself safe from foodborne illness is to wash your hands:
- Before and after handling pet foods and treats, wash your hands for 20 seconds with hot running water and soap. (Tip: Sing “Happy Birthday” twice to time yourself.)
- After petting, touching, handling, or feeding your pet, and especially after contact with feces, wash your hands for 20 seconds.
- Wash hands before preparing your own food and before eating.
Because infants and children are especially susceptible to foodborne illness, keep them away from areas where you feed your pets. Never allow them to touch or eat pet food.
Safe Handling Tips for Pet Foods and Treats (FDA)
Pets can get food poisoning, too. How to buy, prepare, and store pet food to avoid contamination.
Pet Food (FDA)
Details on how the FDA ensures that pet foods are properly labeled and contain safe ingredients.
FDA 101: Animal Feed (FDA)
Yes: Pet food, including dry and canned food and pet treats, is considered animal feed.
How to Report a Pet Food Complaint (FDA)
Before you contact the FDA, review this checklist on the pet food product and any symptoms your pet may have.
Think Food Safety (FDA)
We know to wash our hands before eating dinner and after using the bathroom, but what about after handling pet food?
Salmonella and Dry Pet Food
Salmonella from Dry Pet Food and Treats (CDC)
Follow these tips to help prevent an infection with Salmonella from handling dry pet food and treats.
Concerns Related to Specific Recalls
Check the Food Safety widget to get the latest recalls on pet food and animal feed, as well as other food recalls.
Melamine Pet Food Recall of 2007 (FDA)
Certain pet foods contaminated with melamine were sickening and killing cats and dogs in 2007.
Caution to Dog Owners About Chicken Jerky Products (FDA)
Chicken jerky products such as chicken tenders, strips, or treats may cause illnesses in dogs.
Questions and Answers: Human Illness (Salmonella) Associated with Dry Pet Food (CDC)
In 2007, Salmonella linked to dry pet food sickened 62 people in 18 states.