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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Is it safe for me to provide my pet with a raw food diet?

FDA does not believe raw meat foods for animals are consistent with the goal of protecting the public from significant health risks, particularly when such products are brought into the home and/or used to feed domestic pets; however, we understand that some people prefer to feed these types of diets to their pets. For the protection of both you and your pet, the FDA recommends the following when handling or using raw meat, poultry or seafood, for use in a pet’s diet:

  • Keep raw meat and poultry products frozen until ready to use.
  • Thaw in refrigerator or microwave.
  • Keep raw food diets separate from other foods. Wash working surfaces, utensils (including cutting boards, preparation and feeding bowls), hands, and any other items that touch or contact raw meat, poultry or seafood with hot soapy water.
  • Cover and refrigerate leftovers immediately or discard safely.

In addition:

  • For added protection, kitchen sanitizers should be used on cutting boards and counter tops periodically. A sanitizing solution can be made by mixing one teaspoon of chlorine bleach to one quart of water.
  • If you use plastic or other non-porous cutting boards, run them through the dishwasher after each use.

If you are interested in starting a raw food diet for your pet, please consult with your veterinarian.

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