Kids Could Be Getting Salmonella From Pet Food

No, it’s not what you’re thinking, parents are not feeding their kids pet food. Instead, a new study finding a link between salmonella contaminated pet food and children posits that the kids might be touching affected animals or their pet food dishes, and then putting their hands in their mouths.

The study recommends parents

* wash hands after touching pets, their food and their food dishes
* regular cleaning of pet food dishes and feeding areas
* keeping kids under 5 away from these pet food zones

Human Salmonella Infections Linked to Contaminated Dry Dog and Cat Food, 2006-2008 [Pediatrics]

Fido’s food could be making kids sick, report says [AP]


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  1. kobresia says:

    Well, maybe I WAS thinking that. The economy has been rough lately, maybe cat food isn’t just for elderly folks on fixed incomes anymore…

  2. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    It’s not just kids; people pet other animals all the time. My metro area is very dog friendly. I’ve been known to pet other people’s dogs if they say it’s okay. I wash my hands as soon as I can, but I should probably keep some of those antibacterial wipes with me. Just because adults are less likely to stick their hands in their mouths, doesn’t mean they don’t touch things that do end up near mouths, like napkins.

  3. brinks says:

    No, kids really DO eat pet food. Their parents don’t feed it to them, but they get curious. Ask my younger sister to tell you about how Milkbones taste. She can, as I bet she still remembers that interesting flavor over 20 years later. And she was just the only one we

    • brinks says:


      The only one that we caught.

    • Tevokkia says:

      We don’t have a dog or cat at home, but whenever we visit my parents’ homes, I have a hard time keeping my toddler from eating the dog food. Look away one minute, and there is the distinct click of kibbled on bowl and the giggles of a child who thinks she is getting away with something.

  4. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    As a child, I wasn’t a fan of brushing my teeth. I did, however love dog food and dog biscuits. My Mom asked the Dr, and he told her there wasn’t anything poisonous in there, and if I ever did get sick, it would dissuade me from eating it in the future. Never did get sick, and until I moved to “the city”, never had a cavity. The Dentist did say it could have been the biscuits that helped.

  5. SenorBob says:

    More importantly, why is the pet food contaminated with salmonella? and why does nobody seem to care about that?

    • Slave For Turtles says:

      This. :-( It’s not like Fluffy is immune to getting sick either.

      (My apologies if this is posted some 5 times — I’m having difficulties with this site at the moment.)

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      I’m guessing because it’s not kept refrigerated? I hate to tell you, but you have Salmonella in your house, right now! You have many bacteria and virii. When you have a product that contains meat and is kept in a moist closed container, it can breed things.

    • dora917 says:

      Exactly. Answer, because the FDA doesnt enforce Federal Food Safety Laws on the pet food industry, even though pet food is covered under those laws. Pet food companies get away with using euthanized animals loaded with phenobarbital (which is still present in the final product), for example, among other things like selling food contaminated with salmonella. There is an excellent blog which covers this topic at if you care to learn more. Specifically there is this article about the recent salmonella contaminations

  6. H3ion says:

    Does salmonella have any adverse effects on the pets?

  7. webweazel says:

    Hah. If kids are getting salmonella from pet food, or touching pets, my kid’s already had it 264 times. Oh, but wait, he hasn’t ever had it.
    2 cats, 4 dogs. If he’s not laying on them, rubbing bellies to make their legs jog, flinging around the soggy toys, or kissing them on the head, the sun hasn’t risen that day.
    As for the food, it had been a battle from the age of 3-4 to keep him out of the food bowls. We tried every which way from Sunday to keep him out and away, but he just looked at it as a challenge for him to overcome. Mouth stuffed with fistfuls of dog food. Sneaked bits whenever he could. If the food was not out for the dogs, he figured out how to get into the storage bin in the garage. Discipline was NOT working. It got so bad, we fed him JUST bowls of dog food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for almost 2 days before he decided he didn’t want it anymore. Then he moved on to fistfuls of cat food, and breaking into that bin in the garage. Again, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, almost 3 days, until he finally cried Uncle.

  8. dg says:

    YEah, actually I WAS thinking that – because when I was 9, I watched my younger brother eat a bag of dog food and I didn’t tell him it was dog food… It was in the shape of those little cocktail hotdogs wrapped in minibuns – and it looked just like the cocktail weiners that grandma had out…

    I’ve also seen people eat dog food on a bet… so it’s not a real big stretch…

  9. Razor512 says:

    Thats why you are suppose to cook normal food for your pets. Don’t feed your dog ot cat food that you wouldn’t give to your own kids.