Background: Biologically appropriate raw food (BARF) diet is becoming more and more popular among pet owners in Europe. However, there are documented microbiological risks associated with raw feeding, and this study aimed to determine the presence of human pathogens in commercially frozen BARF products sold in Italy. Methods: Salmonella species, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes and Campylobacter species were identified. The general microbiological quality of BARF products and hygiene were also evaluated. Sample size was limited and therefore the study may not be representative of a larger sample. Results: None of the tested samples showed total bacterial count (TBC) higher than the limit set to consider a sample unacceptable. However, 14 out of 21 samples showed TBC higher than the limit set to consider a sample marginally acceptable. A high percentage of samples were contaminated by the aforementioned pathogens, highlighting the need for pet owners to be aware of the risks of this feeding strategy both to themselves and to their pets. Conclusions: Considering that BARF diet meals can be prepared at home using the hands, as well as tools and spaces that could be shared, guidelines on safer handling of these pet food products should be recommended by veterinarians and nutritionists.

Evaluating the presence of human pathogens in commercially frozen, biologically appropriate raw pet food sold in Italy / Bottari, B.; Bancalari, E.; Barera, A.; Ghidini, S.; Gatti, M.. - In: THE VETERINARY RECORD. - ISSN 0042-4900. - 187:7(2020), pp. 50-55. [10.1136/vr.105893]

Evaluating the presence of human pathogens in commercially frozen, biologically appropriate raw pet food sold in Italy

Bottari B.;Bancalari E.;Ghidini S.;Gatti M.
2020

Abstract

Background: Biologically appropriate raw food (BARF) diet is becoming more and more popular among pet owners in Europe. However, there are documented microbiological risks associated with raw feeding, and this study aimed to determine the presence of human pathogens in commercially frozen BARF products sold in Italy. Methods: Salmonella species, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes and Campylobacter species were identified. The general microbiological quality of BARF products and hygiene were also evaluated. Sample size was limited and therefore the study may not be representative of a larger sample. Results: None of the tested samples showed total bacterial count (TBC) higher than the limit set to consider a sample unacceptable. However, 14 out of 21 samples showed TBC higher than the limit set to consider a sample marginally acceptable. A high percentage of samples were contaminated by the aforementioned pathogens, highlighting the need for pet owners to be aware of the risks of this feeding strategy both to themselves and to their pets. Conclusions: Considering that BARF diet meals can be prepared at home using the hands, as well as tools and spaces that could be shared, guidelines on safer handling of these pet food products should be recommended by veterinarians and nutritionists.
Evaluating the presence of human pathogens in commercially frozen, biologically appropriate raw pet food sold in Italy / Bottari, B.; Bancalari, E.; Barera, A.; Ghidini, S.; Gatti, M.. - In: THE VETERINARY RECORD. - ISSN 0042-4900. - 187:7(2020), pp. 50-55. [10.1136/vr.105893]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11381/2877221
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