There's a new study by Utrecht University scientists that has discovered that raw meat based diets (RMBD) for pets may place owners at risk of serious disease.
The study, which analyzed 35 RMDBs from eight brands, revealed that E. coli 0157 was isolated from eight products (23%) Salmonella species from seven products (20%) and Listeria species were present in fifteen products (43%). Four products (11%) found the parasite Sarcocystis cruzi; another four contained Sarcocystis tenella, and two products (6%) revealed Toxoplasma gondii.
Researchers also found evidence that raw meat harbored antibiotic resistant bacteria. Pets fed RMDBs can pass pathogens to humans through direct contact, such as licking or brushing up against them. Pathogens can also be transferred through direct contact with the food, through contact with household surfaces, or by ingesting cross-contaminated human food.
Researchers believe there is no evidence for any benefit of RMDBs compared to mainstream dry or canned pet foods and that these raw meat based diets may be even less nutritious.
"In nutritional terms, these diets are often deficient in several nutrients and may therefore lead to serious health problems, especially in young animals that are still growing," according to the Utrecht study.