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« Dogs in my dreams: What does it mean? | Main | Liveblogging the No-Kill Conference: Welcome and keynote »

28 July 2010

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ericka

Wow, as soon as I saw this post topic I couldn't click it fast enough. Whew, none of the foods I buy (Terrafauna Reptomin, Healthy Herp Dragon Food instant meal, Zilla pellets, Zoomed Goumet Auquatic Turtle Food) are part of this.



Geez, just reading these food recalls / alerts makes my heartbeat speed up. It seems there are more and more of them lately.

mikken

I'm still confused about the presence of salmonella and whole rodents...



If you have a whole, intact critter of any sort, isn't salmonella a non-surprising finding? I'd be curious as to the testing - are the carcasses contaminated on the outside (where they'd be handled) and that's the issue? Or are we running them through a blender and then testing (in which case, that's a bit silly)?

Gina Spadafori

Mice Direct? If I ever get a herp, I'm getting a bearded dragon. I don't want to order anything from a company called Mice Direct. :)

Christie Keith

What am I missing? What's wrong with the name?

Gina Spadafori

It seems there are more and more of them lately.



Comment by ericka — July 28, 2010



Actually, that could be a GOOD thing. A sign that companies are being extremely responsive to problems in their manufacturing process, or that FDA is stepping up enforcement, or both.



As we've written here many times: Food is a perishable item, and manufactured food is especially tricky, with a lot of ingredients to account for, any of which could be wrong (remember: The 2007 recall was about a single fraudulent ingredient from shady sources out to scam the companies and the consumers).



No one likes problems with the food supply, but they're going to happen, regardless. We understand that, or we should.



What we will NOT tolerate is companies that don't pull out all the stops to inform consumers of the immediate risk, and that have a plan to fix the problem so there's not a repeat, at least not of that problem.

Sandi K

Maybe the more frequent recalls are partly a result from this?



http://tiny.cc/3a5vd

Christie Keith

Although in at least two of these cases, the FDA identified the contamination without any illnesses and with the company saying its testing did NOT. So who reported them?

mikken

My concern is with the radiation, though. We know what happened in Australia with irradiated Orijen cat food...if my rodent producer started irradiating critters for "safety", I'd buy from another producer.

Todd

The choice may become between irradiated or no mouse at all. The whole industry (Reptile, feeders, etc.) has hit critical mass, this is only the beginning, not the end.

mikken

"The choice may become between irradiated or no mouse at all. The whole industry (Reptile, feeders, etc.) has hit critical mass, this is only the beginning, not the end."



I do hope you're wrong on that, Todd (though I fear you may be right). I don't want to have to raise my own, but it may come to that.

Todd

Some perspective may be needed...The FDA has a ZERO tolerance policy on Salmonella (You know when you read the label of your disinfectant and it reads kills 99.999% of whatever, that is not 100% and that can be enough to find bacteria by the time they culture it, grow it out to test for it. The FDA controls things like Milk, fruits, veg, and pet foods, but not things like chicken (broilers) which falls under the USDA guidelines. Consumer reports found that 16-20% of broiler on the self for consumer purchase have salmonella. They found even higher rates of other microbes that the USDA/FDA doesn't test for yet. So the FDA is holding your pet food to a MUCH higher standard than your food. Here is the consumer reports article: http://tinyurl.com/yddavrt



The herp industry has been a basement industry until recently. Now it is getting big enough to be on gov't agency radar. If chicken producers can't rid chickens of salmonella (or reptile producers for that matter, estimates as high as 70% of reptiles are carrying salmonella). Then imagine the challenges for rodent producers.



And before you start saying, gee whiz, I'm sure am glad I breed my own. Get real, the only difference is you don't have to test to confirm your mice/rats don't have anything. Even if they don't the reptiles you are feeding to probably do.



Understand that the FDA does not trust you to be informed or protect yourself, you can see from this article where they RAIDED (with guns) (link: http://tinyurl.com/2g5r6xq ) a place in California that was producing un-pasteurized milk products for customers don't wish to consume pasteurized milk. And while you can make point counter-point arguments about processes like pasteurization, irradiation, etc. The bottom line is it on our shoulders to decide what we consume, or let our pets consume.





Microbes exist in the real world. No one can effectively rid them. We can get better at detection, but that doesn't mean they magically appeared, so we all need to be careful about handling any raw meat (dead or alive), snake, mouse, chicken, or beef. People who choose (and it is a choice for now) to handle raw meats, and not take sanitation precautions (like hand washing, after feeding a rodent to a snake) are going to reap the health repercussions of such decisions.

lori

Iam with you Mikken, Iam sure lizards, snakes come accross samonella and other bacteria every day. If we humans touch raw meat, the obvious thing to do would be to wash our hands. Most healthy animals can handle salmonella. Ive been feeding raw for over 12 years to my own dogs. No illness to report as of yet.



Lori

Janeen

Nearly all herps carry salmonella. Salmonella is carried in a very large number of warm blooded animals (including humans) too. Often without any harm to the host.



RISK IS PART OF LIFE. If you are a critter who evolved to eat raw, dead animals - you also evolved to have certain safeguards that protect you from the bacteria present in them.



If you are a human who evolved to eat cooked food with lower levels of bacteria in it (no food is bacteria free) - you need to be smart enough to remember to wash your hands and sanitize objects that touch dead things, poop and other potential disease vectors.



I'm not saying that FDA should allow all foods to carry salmonella, but overblown paranoia about ALL bacterial contamination is a big part of the force behind outlawing raw fed therapy dogs, raw dairy products, fresh local eggs and locally raised and butchered meat.



Think about that...

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