Pet Food Handling Safety

There are many steps you can take when handling pet foods and treats to help prevent foodborne illness, including Salmonella-related illness.

Salmonella in pet foods and treats can cause serious infections in your pets and in people too, especially children, older people, and those with compromised immune systems. Salmonella can inadvertantly be transferred to people handling the contaminated products.

Pet owners and consumers can also help reduce the likelihood of infection from contaminated pet foods and treats by following safe handling instructions:

Buying

- Purchase products in good condition, without signs of damage to the packaging such as dents or tears.

Preparation

- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with hot water and soap before and after handling pet foods and treats.

- Wash pet food bowls, dishes, and scooping utensils with soap and hot water after each use.

- Do not use the pet’s feeding bowl as a scooping utensil—use a clean, dedicated scoop or spoon.

- Dispose of old or spoiled pet food products in a safe manner, such as in a securely tied plastic bag in a covered trash receptacle.

Storage

- Refrigerate promptly or discard any unused, leftover wet pet food. Refrigerators should be set at 40º F.

- Dry products should be stored in a cool, dry place—under 80º F.

- If possible, store dry pet food in its original bag inside a clean, dedicated plastic container with a lid, keeping the top of the bag folded closed.

- Keep pets away from food storage and preparation areas.

- Keep pets away from garbage and household trash.

Important Information About Feeding Your Dog

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