Recent foodborne pathogen outbreaks associated with dry pet food and treats have focused the attention on these products as vehicles of pathogens for both pets and their owners. This study investigates the purchasing habits of dog owners and determines if and in what form pet snacks can be potentially dangerous for humans, especially for children. For these purposes, questionnaires collected from 406 dog owners were evaluated and microbiological analyses were performed on 120 dry pet snacks. The shape of the pet snack affects the purchase (median score, Mdn = 6.4) and the star bone was the preferred one (Mdn = 7.1). Most of the participants (76.0%; p < 0.001) stated that snacks are attractive to their children and that the possibility for children to get in contact with pet snacks is rare, but not implausible (Mdn = 3.1). Indeed, more than 6% of respondents admitted that there had been incidents of involuntary ingestion of pet snacks, with fever and gastrointestinal manifestations. Microbiological analyses showed that 119 dry pet snacks analyzed of a total of 120 (99.2%) were in good sanitary condition except for one sample where the presence of Listeria ivanovii was confirmed. The upward trend in the presence of pets in households and the strong and continuous growth in value and volume of the pet food market led researchers to analyze possible public health issues. Children and infants in particular are the most exposed subjects as they are more likely to come into contact with pet snacks, attracted by a shape similar to that of a toy. For this reason, although our findings did not highlight important microbiological contamination of pet snacks, it would be useful to standardize food safety criteria with those for human food from a One Health perspective.

When Pet Snacks Look Like Children's Toys! The Potential Role of Pet Snacks in Transmission of Bacterial Zoonotic Pathogens in the Household / M. Castrica, L. Menchetti, S. Panseri, M. Cami, C.M. Balzaretti. - In: FOODBORNE PATHOGENS AND DISEASE. - ISSN 1535-3141. - (2020). [Epub ahead of print] [10.1089/fpd.2020.2839]

When Pet Snacks Look Like Children's Toys! The Potential Role of Pet Snacks in Transmission of Bacterial Zoonotic Pathogens in the Household

M. Castrica
Primo
;
S. Panseri;C.M. Balzaretti
Ultimo
2020

Abstract

Recent foodborne pathogen outbreaks associated with dry pet food and treats have focused the attention on these products as vehicles of pathogens for both pets and their owners. This study investigates the purchasing habits of dog owners and determines if and in what form pet snacks can be potentially dangerous for humans, especially for children. For these purposes, questionnaires collected from 406 dog owners were evaluated and microbiological analyses were performed on 120 dry pet snacks. The shape of the pet snack affects the purchase (median score, Mdn = 6.4) and the star bone was the preferred one (Mdn = 7.1). Most of the participants (76.0%; p < 0.001) stated that snacks are attractive to their children and that the possibility for children to get in contact with pet snacks is rare, but not implausible (Mdn = 3.1). Indeed, more than 6% of respondents admitted that there had been incidents of involuntary ingestion of pet snacks, with fever and gastrointestinal manifestations. Microbiological analyses showed that 119 dry pet snacks analyzed of a total of 120 (99.2%) were in good sanitary condition except for one sample where the presence of Listeria ivanovii was confirmed. The upward trend in the presence of pets in households and the strong and continuous growth in value and volume of the pet food market led researchers to analyze possible public health issues. Children and infants in particular are the most exposed subjects as they are more likely to come into contact with pet snacks, attracted by a shape similar to that of a toy. For this reason, although our findings did not highlight important microbiological contamination of pet snacks, it would be useful to standardize food safety criteria with those for human food from a One Health perspective.
one health, pet food, pet snack, food safety
Settore VET/04 - Ispezione degli Alimenti di Origine Animale
23-ott-2020
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/778745
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