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Salmonella Awareness for Pet Owners

turtle editedSalmonella is a threat to both people and pets. Pet food recalls often involve salmonella contamination and human foods, from peanut butter to eggs, can also pose a risk. Pet turtles also carry salmonella and, without proper hygiene, can be a potential danger for families.  Actual cases of salmonella illness are not terribly common, but can be devastating to young children, seniors, and anyone with a weakened immune system.

It’s important to realize that illness linked to cases of salmonella in pet food is relatively rare. As a precaution, always wash your hands after handling pet food directly, from dry kibble to raw meat, to prevent illness.

You can always check the FDA’s website for a list of current recalls. Make sure to always keep the lot number and other information on pet food packaging, even if you typically empty pet food into airtight containers. This way, you’ll be able to determine whether your pet’s food is part of a recall or not. If you find out that your pet’s food has been recalled, immediately stop feeding it to your pet and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for returns and/or refunds.

If you typically use human food as part of your pet’s diet, it’s best to cook everything thoroughly. Raw eggs and raw meat can put pets at risk for bacterial contamination and illness.

Lastly, since turtles carry salmonella, families with turtles as pets should practice extra-safe hygiene.  Always wash your hands after handling a turtle and be sure to keep the habitat clean and change the water frequently. Supervise children handling a turtle and make sure they practice good hygiene as well.

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