Although one of the key points for good hygiene in the kitchen is to avoid the presence of animals or their contact with the food you are going to eat while cooking. It is also true that in some cases this is not possible. You should not worry too much with this advice.
The way we feed our pets, store their food and wash their dishes can have negative health consequences for both humans and animals if not done correctly. The vital tip is to wash your pet’s dinner plate every day. In this CNN article, they explain the importance of doing just that.
There have been numerous outbreaks of disease among humans after exposure to dog food contaminated with E. coli and salmonella, most likely in commercial and homemade raw food diets. These diets typically include the need to prepare pet food in the kitchen, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE.
However, guidelines on how owners should handle pet food and food safely are limited, and their effectiveness is unclear, so the authors of the new study investigated dog owners’ eating habits and analyzed the impact of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hygiene. protocols for contamination of dog food bowls.
“We realized that we all have different pet food storage and hygiene practices when it comes to our own pets,” said Emily Luisana, co-author of the study and small animal veterinary nutritionist, during informal conversations between veterinary nutritionists. “When we realized that the[FDA’s]recommendations were relatively unknown, even among professionals, we wanted to see what other pet owners were up to.”
Luisana is on the veterinary advisory board of Tailored, a dog food company led by pet nutritionists. Caitlyn Getty, co-author of another study, is veterinarian of science for NomNomNow Inc., a company focused on pet gut health and proper nutrition. No company funded this study, and the authors did not report any competing interests. The focus of the study was on the owners’ handling of any dog food, not the food brands themselves.
conscience vs action
The researchers found that 4.7% of the 417 dog owners surveyed were aware of the FDA’s pet food handling and dish hygiene guidelines: 43% of respondents stored dog food 1.5 meters away from human food, 34% after eating. then washed their hands and 33% prepared the dog food on the preparation surfaces for human use.
Fifty owners (out of a total of 68 dogs) participated in an approximately eight-day bowl contamination experiment. The authors cleaned the bowls for populations of bacteria known as aerobic plate counts and then divided the owners into three groups: Group A followed FDA advice, which included washing their hands before and after touching pet food and not using the serving bowl. bowl and ladle with soap and hot water after use, discard uneaten food as directed, and store dry pet food in its original bag.
Group B had to follow the FDA’s food-handling recommendations for both pets and humans to wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water; scrape the food from the dishes before washing; wash dishes with soap and water above 150 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 30 seconds, dry thoroughly with a clean towel, or use a National Sanitation Foundation approved dishwasher to wash and dry.
Group C was not given any instructions, but was told when the second swab would be.
According to the study, the practices applied by Groups A and B resulted in significant reductions in contamination of dinner plates compared to Group C. Dishes washed in hot or dishwasher water showed a decrease of 1.5 units on the soiling scale compared to dishes washed in cold or warm water.
“The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for cleaning and sterilizing human dishes are based on achieving a 5-day reduction in bacterial counts,” the authors wrote. 1.5 log reduction equals 90% to 99% reduction in microorganisms; A 5 log reduction means 99.999% of microorganisms are killed.
Contamination of dishes in Group C increased between swabs. None of the owners in Group C had washed their dog’s bowls in the eight days since the authors collected the first sample of bacteria, “despite being aware that FDA guidelines exist and the bowl will be resampled,” Louise said.
This shows that the announcement of the current recommendations alone is not enough,” he said.
Contamination risk reduction
The authors said they believe this education is particularly important for vulnerable populations such as immunocompromised people.
According to research published over the past 15 years, pet food containers were among the dirtiest household items, sometimes even with bacterial loads close to those in toilet bowls.
However, in the current study, 20% of people in groups A and B said they were more likely to follow hygiene instructions in the long run, and even less, 8% said they were more likely to follow all given guidelines.
“Our study shows that pet owners go to their vets, pet food store, and pet food manufacturers to inquire about their pet food storage and hygiene guidelines,” Luisana said. Said. He added that pet food companies that review their food in both lab conditions and home settings, and then offer storage and use recommendations on labels or on their websites, would be a good start.
More research is needed on its effects, but Luisana said she hopes pet owners and veterinarians will use the findings from this study to assess the impact of dietary hygiene on the health and happiness of pets, immunocompromised individuals, and zoonotic diseases. animals and people.
Tips for washing your pet’s dishes
Follow these tips to prevent bacterial growth in your pet’s feeder:
- Reserve a clean spoon or glass for serving food on the plate only.
- Change sponges regularly. Also, they can’t be the ones you use for family dinners.
- Throw away waste even if the pet leaves no traces when licking it. Microorganisms are always there, even if you don’t see them.
- Do not use the kitchen sink. At least do the first cleaning in another sink because you avoid cross contamination.
- Use detergents that do not contain perfume, as you are exposing the animal to allergies. Industrial disinfectants also make compromises.
- Check that no hardened food remains. In this case, you remove it with hot water. Soap residues should not remain on the plate either.
With information from: CNN.
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