The Food and Drug Administration has been conducting a national effort to collect and analyze samples of pet foods for Salmonella contamination.
According to an Oct. 24 memorandum, the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine has concerns about animal feeds serving as vehicles for transmission of pathogenic bacteria to humans and other animals. The CVM has particular concerns about Salmonella transmission to humans via pet foods.
In one outbreak, 70 humans contracted salmonellosis between January 2006 and December 2007 in connection with Salmonella enterica serotype Schwarzengrund in dry dog foods from a U.S. manufacturing facility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In recent years, numerous recalls of pet foods have resulted from Salmonella contamination. The AVMA posts recalls of pet foods and other animal feeds at www.avma.org/petfoodsafety/recalls.
The CVM is seeking to determine the prevalence and properties of Salmonella species and other microbes in pet foods through the national sampling and analysis effort. Previously, the CVM had collected samples of pet foods and samples of animal feeds from petting zoos and agricultural fairs to analyze for Salmonella contamination.
The Oct. 24 CVM memorandum directs FDA districts to collect samples of a variety of pet foods and supplements, excluding canned and imported pet foods. Laboratories will analyze some samples for Salmonella species and other samples for microbes such as Enterococcus species and Escherichia coli.
As part of the effort, the CVM intends to support advisory or regulatory action should it find Salmonella contamination in pet foods.