So. I'm probably pretty safe in saying we all agree it's a bad idea to let your toddler eat dog food, right? We're all on the same page about this. Toddlers + dog food = NO. Yes?
Okay, good. Because if there's anyone out there not yet convinced that you shouldn't let your kids eat dog food, here's a pretty compelling reason: Salmonella. Last week tainted dog food sickened 14 people. Not dogs. People.
You will be relieved to hear they were not poisoned from actually eating that dog food. Not most of them, anyway. And not on purpose.
Right, so eating dog food isn't a new "thing" -- thank goodness. But how scary to learn that just handling it can still make you sick! I always thought it was a good idea to wash my hands after handling pet food just because I think the stuff smells funky. But pet food can also carry germs.
And guess who likes to get their hands on everything? Oh yeah, toddlers. When I read this story, the first thing I pictured was some little 2-year-old grabbing dog food. Obviously any one of us would swoop in like a hawk to pry the kibbles out of our kiddies' hands before they attempted to snack. But I don't know that it would occur to me to wash my child's hands, too. And you know how often toddlers put their hands in their mouths.
Ohio's health department issued a statement that "humans can become ill by handling pet products contaminated with salmonella, and by coming in contact with pets or with surfaces that have been contaminated." But they also added that since small children are especially sensitive to foodborne illness, we should "keep them away from areas where pets are fed" and "never allow them to touch or eat pet food." Wow, makes sense. But it might also be a pretty tall order for some families with pets and little ones.
Have any of your children ever gotten their hands into the pet food?
Image via Sh4rp_i/Flickr