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The FDA‘s Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network is conducting a massive study to gauge the risk of infection, to pets or humans, from contaminated pet foods. Preliminary results show that very few animals, less than 100 out of the nearly 3,000 tested positive for bacterial infection. Just half of those showed any signs of disease.

What does that mean to the average pet owner? It is possible for a dog with no symptoms to spread infection, but there are measures you can take to reduce that risk. In a statement, the FDA makes these recommendations.

  • One way to know if pet food may be a potential source of contamination is to check the FDA’s list of recalled products.

In the meantime, there are a number of steps you can take to avoid spreading illness in the event that pet foods and treats may be contaminated.

  • Avoid buying pet food in dented cans or with damaged packaging.
  • Feed your pets in a location that can be easily cleaned and sanitized.
  • Wash countertops, tables, or any surfaces compromised when pet foods have come into contact with them.
  • Earmark some utensils for use only with pet foods.
  • Wash hands carefully after handling pet foods.
  • Keep dry pet foods in a cool, dry place and sealed in a container to prevent spoilage.
  • No matter how you store your pet food, keep the original packaging which contains data such as the manufacturer’s contact information, lot code, and UPC number. These facts can be useful if a pet food is a suspected source of illness and an investigation is underway.
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