WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials said a limited amount of pet food, treats and supplements will be tested during the next year for salmonella.
Officials at the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine said although cases of pet food contaminated with salmonella are rare, they are concerned about animal feed and pet food serving as vehicles for transmitting pathogenic and antibiotic-resistant bacteria to humans and other animals -- particularly salmonella being transmitted to humans through pet foods, pet treats, and supplements for pets fed in homes.
The testing will:
-- Determine the prevalence of salmonella in samples collected from a limited number of pet foods, pet treats, and supplements for pets.
-- Determine the serotype, genetic fingerprint and antimicrobial susceptibilities of each salmonella found in samples collected from pet foods, pet treats and supplements for pets under this assignment.
-- Ensure that salmonella-contaminated pet foods, pet treats and supplements for pets are removed from interstate commerce.
-- Collect investigational samples for research purposes and for providing surveillance information on microbes other than salmonella in pet foods, pet treats and supplements for pets.
Certain vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly and individuals with compromised immune systems, are particularly susceptible to salmonella infection from such animal feeds or pet food and consumers are advised to wash hands after handling pet food, FDA officials said.