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More Pet Food Recalls

Like with human food, growing risks of bacterial contamination

Concerns are growing that pet food may be subject to even worse contamination than human food.

Last week, Merrick Pet Care recalled 248 cases of Doggie Wishbone pet treats because of possible contamination with salmonella. A few weeks earlier, Nestlé Purina its Purina One Vibrant Maturity cat food after some of the bags tested positive for salmonella. This was their second recall in two months.

So far this year, there have been 12 pet food recalls and safety alerts. Last year there were 23. Details are on the website of the Food and Drug Administration.

Tara Parker Pope addresses the growing concerns about pet food in an article in the New York Times. She also lists concerns about various pet treats, including pig ears and scraps that come from butchers — any of which could contain salmonella. (She mentions another report saying that 45 percent of commercial raw meat diets fed to greyhounds tested positive for salmonella.)

Over the past two years, pet food makers have issued nearly three dozen recalls of pet food and dog treats like pig ears because of salmonella concerns.

Pope recommends that children, the elderly and people with suppressed immune systems should not be handling pet food or treats at all. And the rest of us should be careful to wash our hands before and after handling pet products.

What do you say? Are you concerned about contaminated pet food? If so, are you doing anything to protect your pets from it? Let us know in a comment or on Facebook.