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Live Salmonella or Dead Salmonella – both cause illness

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  1. Laurie Raymond

    Looking at kill steps is short sighted. We and our pets are part of the food chain. We as humans are obligated to discern the whole, the big picture. This means looking at agricultural practices, slaughter and handling practices, storage, shipment and processing of all ingredients going into food, especially processed food, because it is there that we are lulled into a false sense of security. Just because something is sterile does not mean it isn’t dangerous. We have permitted soil, water and air contamination to be accepted as normal. The crops and livestock we raise are contaminated. Then we selectively “enforce” safety regulations in favor of the segments of the industries with the deepest pockets (the best-paid lobbyists.) If we’re concerned about pet food safety, we have an obligation to face the implications of our whole economy’s dependence on growing industrial profits as the highest value goal. It means becoming political. But if we don’t we are just indulging in venting without assuming our proper responsibility.

  2. T Allen

    Thanks Susan! Can you be more specific on regulatory officials for people who may not know? maybe a tab on your page of references? Titles, departments and form letters? Would make it easier to get more people to get involved. 🙂 We have to address this issue! Maybe with the help of Truth about Pet Cancer enough money can be raised for an independent study on this? We know this is a contributing factor!

  3. Pet Owner

    But it’s an even deeper question now. Raw food is more bio-available, but the Salmonella risk is high. We know companies aren’t batch testing everything. And if they’re high pressure processing, then what’s the point of raw? Canned wet food has endotoxins, which sounds like a build-up isn’t too good either.

    So were back to feeding our dogs, human grade quality protein, cooked to a safe temperature … right? But then my pet supply person said, feeding cooked meat that way to a dog, can be detrimental to their digestive process over time.

    What do we do?? Actually, is dehydrated (THK) the safest alternative at this point?

    1. T Allen

      Couple of thoughts. The endotoxins in pet food are at very high levels because of the use of 4D meat. Human grade/ grocery store meat won’t have those high levels but will have more live “bugs”. Cooking meat to a high enough temp to kill those bugs may not be “perfect” but is better than getting sick. Think about this… we’ve been eating cooked meat and living to 80-100yo for a long time. Between vaccine over use, pesticides and toxins in the food and environment, I think cooking meat for our pets is the least of our worries. Especially if a healthy blend of other vegetables, fruits and herbs are fed as well. There is a lot of research in using herbs to protect the liver and kidneys in people and animals. You can’t use them safely in cats without a vet’s help but for the most part if it’s safe your your child it’s safe for your dog. And no, THK isn’t necessarily better because it’s too high in carbs fed as is. Mixing at a level to decrease carbs decreases the amount of vit/min etc. No great answer right now but we are working on it! Follow Rodney Habib and Karen Becker on FB, ( just don’t click on ads!) 🙂 Planet Paws Or the website

    2. Laurie Raymond

      Healthy dogs and cats can handle a bacteria load that would kill us! And for all the raw recalls, you don’t hear about dogs or cats actually getting sick. And meat for human consumption, commodity meat from the grocery store, is likely contaminated with the same bacteria, but passes because it is assumed it will be cooked. I have used Vital Essentials for many years and never had a problem, but because of FDA zero tolerance, they are going to HPP, and I have been working to line up local farmers from whom I can buy direct. I am absolutely convinced that raw is the way to feed dogs and cats. For those who are severely immuno-compromised, you can feed raw that has been treated to a kill step: HPP or bacteriophages or fermentation. But what we need to do is to reform agriculture so that pathogenic bacteria are not ubiquitous in soil, water and livestock. The farmers who are already growing clean, humanely raised animals deserve (and truly need) our support! And by the way, I haven’t seen any studies, but the fat in cooked meat creates a serious risk of pancreatitis in susceptible animals. The Ketopet Sanctuary, which has had amazing success with ketogenic diets for dogs with cancer, insists on feeding everything raw. And many of these dogs are immune compromised, but they respond beautifully to the raw diet.

      1. Pet Owner

        If Vital Essentials goes to HPP, how much less valuable will it be as a raw food? It was the last frozen raw brand left that didn’t do the kill step.

        1. T Allen

          If you want to feed raw and take the chance with disease at least feed human grade, store bought, meat. It’s still contaminated but less so than the rejected garbage that goes into pet foods! I buy directly from a USDA slaughterhouse that I am comfortable with. He feeds his own dogs the same ground product he sells to us. This is the only way I feed raw with no kill step. The new superbugs that have developed in the last 50 years from overuse of antibiotics and keeping animals on the same land without rotation will kill and seriously injure people and pets. Search for your “bug” of choice.

          1. Pet Owner

            Okay. What you’re saying here, makes sense too. I understand (all too much) quality must exist first. So when you buy locally how do you balance the raw meat, is it already ground up (organ, bone, nutrients). Do you know of any sustainable ranchers in the Northern California area? SFRAW in the Bay Area is a great option, but I’m 2.5 hours away.

          2. T Allen

            I’m in Maine so I can’t help locally. 🙂 But I also buy meat products, including a premixed ground raw chicken that has not been through a kill process from a company called Hare Today Gone Tomorrow. They ship frozen, country wide. They are a small company that kills/processes themselves and buys from local farms. I have never had any concerns about their products and they have been around for years. You do need to order at least 50# so it stays frozen and keeps the price down but if you have room for a small chest freezer (<$150) it's much cheaper to buy in bulk and you can pick up several turkeys cheap at the holidays (.69/#! ) and feed them too. Hope this helps. It's not easy keeping your family safe anymore.

      2. T Allen

        “Healthy dogs and cats can handle a bacteria load that would kill us!” Do you have research that shows that? No. That’s a myth. Superbugs kill pets and people. “And by the way, I haven’t seen any studies, but the fat in cooked meat creates a serious risk of pancreatitis in susceptible animals.” You haven’t seen any studies because there aren’t any. Another myth. RANCID fat, like that in 4D dog food can cause diseases. KetoPet does NOT feed raw to all dogs. They use HPP in severely health compromised dogs because of the potential for disease from raw meat. I totally agree with your overall premise but touting myths does not help the raw cause. Truth heals, myths can kill.

        1. Pet Owner

          Wow. Thank you so much for clearing up those myths! I was about to go down the dark rabbit hole with Laurie. But now, I don’t feel so bad about continuing to use Vital Essentials. Because they will be (at least) controlling pathogens if they employ HPP. And I do get worried (always) about too much / unbalanced fat triggering a problem in a dog.

          1. T Allen

            Do you follow Rodney Habib/Planet Paws/Truth about Pet cancer? They are studying ketosis in dogs to cure cancer. It uses more fat, less protein, and minimal carbs. But you do have to be careful about too much fat in the presence of too many carbs. It’s complicated. Check out their FB pages and websites for more details. (FB is safe if you don’t click ads! In 4 four years I have had 5 companies get any info on me.) 😉

    3. Chelsea Joyner

      Dehydrated is becoming a popular alternative. Most of the benefits of raw, but the dry form everyone thinks they have to have now. There Is a heating process tho kill bacteria and such. You still have to make sure of the QUALITY and FRESHNESS of ingredients. That is how you are going to avoid endotoxin. Of course the pet supply person told you it would cause problems. His/ her mod is to sell you food. Most of them don’t even know what is in it.

    4. Christine

      Trouble is, meats meant to be consumed by humans can have high bacterial counts as it’s assumed we’ll be cooking them, which is a kill step – this leads you right back to endotoxins. Some comercial raw food manufacturers test ingredients as they come in, and certainly before they go out. That’s a much bigger reassurance than anything, as they’re insuring there’s not a big bacterial load when it hits the market. So many of these raw food salmonella recalls have even tested negative by the manufacturer, and if FDA finds any, often follow-up testing by the food manufacturer finds nothing in other samples if the same batch. This says to me that there’s not enough bacteria to create an endotoxin problem even if there is a kill step, and unlikely to make any animal sick, which is why I still favor commercially made raw foods for safety. They’re generally testing and know they’re under scrutiny, unlike grocery stores selling meats for people, or kibble manufacturers.
      We should be asking all of our manufacturers if they test for bacteria *before* processing, which I’m sure most don’t. I would like to assume that THK is doing this, but I’ll have to ask.

  4. Laurie

    Hi Susan. Laurie here with White Rock Pet Food Delivery in Dallas. I’d like to ask your opinion. Many of the raw manufacturers have instituted HPP with their poultry products. I personally do not like HPP but that’s a side note.
    I know that a year or so ago, Rad Cat began HPP with their poultry products and last week they had a recall on one lot of turkey and one lot of chicken. If HPP is such a “great” thing and is suppose to eliminate pathogens that might be present in raw poultry, why did the HPP treated Rad Cat have Listeria Monocytogenes? Thank you for your opinion and thank you for what you do. Kind regards … Laurie

    1. T Allen

      Hi Susan- I can only speculate as to the cause of the problem but I can tell you from experience that contamination can happen in a processing facility after the “kill” step (assuming the kill step was performed correctly) . The fact that that happened is extremely concerning and indicates either a serious break down in the processing or sanitation procedures as well as their quality control and testing program. OR HPP if done correctly kills all “live” “bugs” but if the product is not handled properly afterwards (frozen below zero or kept cold and used quickly) any spores left over can regrow. That could be caused by leaving it in hot trucks, etc. “Hold and test” before shipping is critical for these raw pet food producers. I hope they figure this out soon!

      1. Christine

        Yes, but Rad Cat does a full plate count after they test and hold. They test all of their surfaces for listeria as well – I’ve been in their kitchen and I’ll tell you it’s spectacular and their safety protocols are multilayered. If only my human meats were handled so safely! I own a pet supply store and we even test the surface temperature as raw food enters our doors to make sure the food hasn’t been compromised during delivery from our distributor, and we turn food away that feels like it’s been thawed a bit and refrozen (nuggets sticking together at all, etc). It honestly makes me question FDA testing protocols – are they testing with sterile equipment and handling the samples well after testing? How are their surfaces?

        1. T Allen

          Wow! That’s impressive! It’s good to know someone is trying to do it right. It must be really hard with the meat coming in being contaminated from the start. Kudos to you for testing product temps on delivery. That is the only way to keep the middlemen on their toes when making deliveries of perishable items! Thanks for letting us know about RAD cat!

  5. marlene salter

    I am so very heartsick over what the animal food manufacturers get away with & I wish they could be dealt with commensurate with what they do to animals.

  6. chimonger

    Be careful what you ask for. Has pet food been irradiated yet? Human foods are, more often than we’d like to know.
    Irradiation is NOT what you want the industry to do to pet foods, any more than we’d want it for human foods!
    Unfortunately, irradiation of human foods has been aided and abetted to remain covert; that is, loopholes like “any food that has been processed, does not have to label that it’s been irradiated for longer shelf-life”.
    That means, that wording allows user-definition of “any food that’s been processed”…into “simple water washing at the edge of the field, to knock off the dirt, has now been termed “processed”.
    Therefore, it can now be irradiated to lengthen shelf-life, and Not be labeled that it’s been done…even on organic produce in some instances. Irradiation ruins nutritional content. It certainly destroys almost all antioxidants, which humans require to live decently.
    So, you want that for pet food, too? With human nutritional deficiencies at such all-time highs for a few generations, that now nutritionally caused bone deformities are called “normal”?
    I don’t think so.
    Pet food industries need some good suggestions from consumers, on how to fix the problem of toxins and germs in foods, since they have not figured it out themselves.

  7. Lorraine Birish

    thank you Susan, your video says a lot about the state of all matters concerning humans and pets. bottom line is the dollar. it rules.

    1. T Allen

      Amen to that!

  8. Jeanne Anne Hensley

    While all of this is extremely important and the need for a total overhaul of our agriculture system in general, and specifically, in these cases, animal production and processing, keep in mind that a good quality colloidal silver will protect your pets (and yourself) from these pathogens. This includes, E Coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and the like and can save your pet from Parvo and other health concerns. I know, I’ve used it for many years with family, my dogs, cats, goats and chickens as well as wild animals that were injured in some way. Keep some on hand, always. As well, Vitamin C will help. Yes, most animals do make their own C but in cases where they are overcome with pathogens and in the state that most animals (and people) are in these days, they often simply produce enough to protect them from serious illness and resulting death.

  9. Jeanne Anne Hensley

    EDIT: typo alert…..”…they often simply cannot produce enough to protect them from serious illness and resulting death.”

  10. Marsha

    So many things that the FDA overlooks for our pets. Wish they wouldn’t, but then they do not know that our pets are family. Some of us only have pets, no children. Thank you for all you do Susan.

  11. Seth

    Wow that is disappointed that the FDA. Doesn’t care pet/animal health. They would rather beat around the bush. Why are they so incapable of doing what’s right. Can’t they follow the law and not pick and choose what they will do

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