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Raw meat danger to pets and owners

Raw food fads are not just for humans—many pet owners are also putting their cats and dogs on diets of raw meat. But according to research published in Veterinary Record, these diets could expose both animal and owner to dangerous pathogens. Researchers from Utrecht University and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands analyzed 35 commercially available raw meat products and found that they contained a menagerie of bacteria and parasites. Antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli was present in 80% of samples, and Listeria and Salmonella bacteria were also common. Some products also contained the parasites Sarcocystis and Toxoplasma gondii. These pathogens are not only a risk to pets, people could also be exposed through cross-contamination with human food or contact with animals or feces, and the authors stress that owners should be made aware of these risks and encouraged to use proper hygiene.

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