FDA creates guide on Salmonella in pet food

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Pet food cannot be sold if it contains any Salmonella serotype, and neither can horse or livestock feed containing certain serotypes.

The Food and Drug Administration published in July the policy guide “Salmonella in Food for Animals,” which replaces a guide that only forbade the presence of Salmonella in dry dog food and a 1967 FDA opinion that indicated the agency would not tolerate the presence of any strain of Salmonella in certain animal feed ingredients.

The guide states, in part, that the bacteria’s presence in pet food poses a substantial risk to human health. Such food will be considered to be adulterated if it will not be processed further to eliminate Salmonella.

“FDA believes regulatory action is warranted in cases involving pet foods contaminated with any Salmonella serotype, due to the heightened human health risk given the high likelihood of direct human contact with such food,” the guide states.

Horse and livestock feed containing certain serotypes that can cause illness in these animals will similarly be considered to be adulterated if the feed will not go through further processing to eliminate the bacteria. Examples of adulterated feeds listed in the guide are cattle feed contaminated with Salmonella Newport or Salmonella Dublin and poultry feed contaminated with Salmonella Pullorum, Salmonella Gallinarum, or Salmonella Enteritidis.

More information is available at fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm360834.htm.