They say, ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity’ – meaning publicity is good if it’s intelligent!
Unfortunately for pet parents who choose to feed a natural raw diet, the publicity that hits the headlines continues to spread a message of fear. But is that message of fear deliberately misleading…intended to drive you back to the perceived ‘safety’ of a processed diet?
Recently The Daily Mail and The Telegraph published articles discouraging pet owners from feeding raw food to their pets. They used an article published in the VetRecord journal that surveyed a number of commercial raw foods in the Netherlands and confirmed the presence of pathogenic bacteria in some of the foods.
Leading with headlines – ‘Owners are warned they are putting their pet cats and dogs at risk by feeding them raw meat because it may contain deadly bugs’ and ‘Raw pet food trend risks E.coli and Salmonella in owners’.
Well, lets look at the facts!
Fact No 1.
The ingredients we use in the production of our food is intended for human consumption.
For Luna & me sourcing our ingredients is a passion, we care about what your pets eat and where it comes from, which means we take the same fresh meats, fruits and vegetables you’d find at your local farmers market to create our menu.
In other words; our food is made with ingredients intended for you.
Fact No 2
When these ingredients are distributed by our suppliers, they could just as easily arrive with us, or with your butcher or at a restaurant.
The ingredients are not selected because we are a pet food manufacturer. They are selected because they are the very best ingredients available in the UK. Our suppliers do not differentiate us, from you.
So when I say ‘if I won’t eat it, it doesn’t go in our food’ I really mean it!
Fact No 3.
The ingredients we use do not carry bacteria because they are pet food, they carry bacteria because they are a natural raw product.
So, if we are using ingredients that could be intended for you. Ingredients that are just as likely to end up as your dinner, as they are your pets dinner.
Why then by handling raw food to feed our pets are we any more at risk than handling raw food to feed our human family?
The answer to this question, may be more obvious than you think!
Fact No 4.
You might be surprised to hear that as a natural raw pet food manufacturer we are more heavily regulated than most human food companies.
The reason for this is simple…the authorities expect that when handling raw food ingredients for your human family, you will go on to cook these ingredients, and cooking kills most bacteria.
Whereas when handling raw food ingredients for your pets, you will go on to serve these ingredients raw and its here where the articles are deliberately misunderstanding us.
If we are handling the same ingredients; and actually with Luna & me’s unique patties and packaging, there is no need to physically handle the food..whether it goes into an oven or into our pets stomach is irrelevant, as the risk is with the natural raw ingredients and not because those ingredients are raw pet food.
Fact No 5.
The scaremongering articles are intended to disconnect the facts.
Rather than addressing the simple point about food safety. They tell you that ‘Pet owners should not feed raw meat to their cats and dogs because it may carry deadly bugs!’ as if the raw meat used is somehow different and contains more bacteria than raw meat used in human food manufacturing.
So what’s the conclusion?
As with everything in life, we must use our common-sense. Let’s not panic, but rather let’s focus on what we know to be true.
Natural raw ingredients may carry bacteria! However, if you use the same levels of food safety that you use when preparing a meal for your family, you will not suffer any ill-effects from feeding your pets a natural raw diet. Fact!
Every day of the week you prepare a meal using raw ingredients for your human family. Fact! How often have you ever suffered illness from this simple process? Probably never…Fact!
One last thought…
The reason there is so much speculation about the risks of bacteria and so little actual data to back it up, is because our understanding of bacteria is still very limited.
For many years, the approach to bacteria was to try and destroy it all with sanitisers, disinfectants, and antibiotics.
We are now beginning to understand and appreciate the variety of bacteria around us and the vital role they play in our eco-system and our health.
We are learning that our bodies naturally contain both beneficial and pathogenic bacteria, and that one of the primary keys to health is NOT to destroy those bacteria, but to eat whole, minimally processed foods, that support a healthy balance of bacteria.
Science still has a long way to go in understanding this complex system, but in time, food safety may become more about maintaining a microbiome balance than killing all bacteria.