Essential Hygiene Guidelines for Raw Feeding
It is a well-known fact that raw meat contains natural bacteria and, for humans, this bacteria can be harmful and cause problems. Normally, prepared pet foods undergo microbiological testing but it is still important that raw pet food products are handled in the correct way. It is always essential to practice good hygiene, even more so with raw meat, so here are a few guidelines to follow.
1. When purchasing raw food products, make sure that they are in good condition and there is no damage to the packaging.
2. Storage instructions are usually printed on the packaging and it is advised that you store raw products frozen or at the bottom of the fridge when defrosting.
3. If you have unsealed containers or open bags of raw food, store correctly in sealed containers to remove the risk of cross contamination.
4. Only store sealed products in the freezer because open packaging can lead to the food drying out and reducing nutrients.
5. Always defrost your raw pet food directly:
- Cover the raw food whenever defrosting, at room temperature or in the fridge.
- Never refreeze after it has thawed.
- Do not store the meat for longer than two days in the fridge.
6. Clean everything that has been in contact with the raw food with warm water and disinfectant/soap; your hands, the surfaces, your pet’s bowl and used utensils.
7. Make sure it’s safe when your pet is eating the raw food:
- Feed them in a cool space as the bacteria will multiply at a high temperature.
- If it hasn’t been eaten within an hour, dispose of it.
- Flies can spread the bacteria so make sure they are kept away.
- Keep small children away.
Don’t be afraid of switching your pet to raw food, it is not a danger if you follow these guidelines. Most of it should be second nature, but if you’re ever unsure, refer to these rules.