It is regular to feed our furry mates morsels from the desk. However is the reverse secure? Can a human safely eat pet meals? Is there any probability it might kill you?
The quick reply is that pet meals will be dangerous to people if it is contaminated, based on Dana Hunnes, an assistant professor on the Fielding Faculty of Public Well being on the College of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a senior dietitian on the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Middle. Foodborne pathogens similar to Salmonella and E. coli affect pet meals, simply as they do human meals. That is why it is essential to comply with your pet meals’s storage tips to guard your furry mates, based on Healthline (opens in new tab). As an illustration, the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration (opens in new tab) recommends storing dry and canned pet meals in a cool, dry place no hotter than 80 levels Fahrenheit (26.6 levels Celsius).
However as a result of we frequently aren’t as cautious storing pet meals as we’re our personal meals, consuming your pet’s meals could run a larger threat of contamination, Dr. Beth Ann Ditkoff, a biology college member at Sarah Lawrence School in New York, advised VICE (opens in new tab).
Associated: Can an individual survive consuming solely beef?
Through the years, the FDA has issued quite a few remembers and withdrawals (opens in new tab) regarding pet meals, together with a possible Salmonella contamination from rodent exercise at a distribution middle in 2022 and pet food with elevated ranges of aflatoxins, or toxins produced by sure fungi discovered on agricultural crops, in 2021.
However uncontaminated pet meals is secure, no less than within the quick time period, Hunnes mentioned. Most pet meals is made up of food-grade leftovers and byproducts, she advised Dwell Science. Elements like bone meal, meat scraps and offal (such because the abdomen, massive gut or tongue) from slaughterhouses, or soybean and grain byproducts from processing crops are the most important elements of pet meals. Although these elements is probably not very appetizing, pet meals comes from the identical sources as human meals. So it isn’t inherently poisonous, and it is secure to strive should you’re interested by kibble and even determine to eat it in an emergency meals scarcity, Hunnes mentioned. Nevertheless, the place some uncooked pet meals are involved, it is best to steer clear. That is by no means a good suggestion for people, based on the report from Healthline (opens in new tab).
Hunnes mentioned it is best to restrict pet meals consumption to a brief length — ideally not more than a few days. In an emergency, pet meals presents a supply of energy and protein. But it surely’s essential to do not forget that pet meals is tailor-made to the distinctive wants of pets, not people.
For instance, canine meals embody vitamin Ok, which will be poisonous to people at excessive quantities, Hunnes mentioned. And each canine and cats manufacture their very own vitamin C, a nutrient people should get from their weight-reduction plan, in order that’s unnoticed of some pet meals. In different phrases, long-term pet meals consumption in people carries the dangers of dietary deficiency, Hunnes mentioned.
It is also essential to know that almost all pet meals is labeled “not suitable for eating.” So if consuming pet meals does make you sick, both from dietary deficiency or from a contaminant that bought into the meals earlier than it reached your own home, you’d have restricted authorized recourse, based on a report from VICE (opens in new tab).
Finally, pet meals is not poisonous to people, nevertheless it is not best. You may give it a strive and even use it should you’re in want. But it surely’s not a long-term resolution from a dietary or meals security perspective.
Initially printed on Dwell Science on Feb. 26, 2013 and up to date on June 11, 2022.