The occurrence of Salmonella in raw pet food seems to be rising in Great Britain. Raw meat pet food had the highest number of Salmonella contaminated samples of all the feeds tested by the UK’s Animal and Plant Health Agency scientists. The agency report “Salmonella in Animals and Feed in Great Britain 2021” documented an upward trend.
In 2021, the agency’s laboratories isolated 295 instances of Salmonella from raw pet food available on the British market. That’s up 8.1% from 2020’s 273 isolations, and 20.4% higher than 2019 with 245 isolations.
Some of these Salmonella bacteria were from strains with resistance to drugs used to fight infection. These potentially dangerous pathogens were found in 71 of the samples taken in 2021. These made up 57.3% of the total regulated varieties of Salmonella found by the Animal and Plant Health Agency in 2021 among all feeds and locations tested. The proportion of drug-resistant Salmonella in British raw meat pet food didn’t increase much over 2020, but did show an upward tendency compared to 2019.
“Contaminated raw meat pet food, which does not undergo any heat treatment to deactivate pathogens, may therefore represent a potential source of infection to both the dogs consuming it and people who handle it, especially if insufficient hygiene measures are adopted,” the report authors wrote.