Chan added that the study was important as it showed that buying commercial, frozen products rather using than home-prepared food, did not circumvent the dangers of pathogens.
A year ago a charitable scheme which sends dogs into schools to help children read, Burns By Your Side, announced it had banned the use of animals fed on raw meats because of the health risk to children.
But if you're feeding Mittens a raw meat diet because "it's so natural" and "just what her wild ancestors would have eaten", it looks like science may not be on your side. The meat carries bacteria that can be risky to both animals and humans. Humans may also be exposed to harmful pathogens when cleaning up an infected animal's waste or when an infected animal licks its owner's face or hands.
T. gondii can cause disease in people, the researchers said. "But I can imagine that cross-contamination in the kitchen during preparation of the food, and cleaning of the food bowls-as well as direct contact with infected animals-are the highest risks", he says.More news: Liverpool host City as Premier League returns
The researchers found that 43% of the products (15 packs from eight brands) contained species of listeria, which causes extremely invasive illnesses.
Researchers based in the Netherlands say raw meat based-diets (RMBDs) may be contaminated with bacteria and parasites, which can pose a risk to both animal and human health. Even more worrisome, E. coli 0157-a particularly unsafe strain now responsible for a lettuce-based outbreak in North America-was found in 23% of the samples.
The Utrecht study said claims RMBDs yield health benefits had no scientific evidence supporting them, adding: "in nutritional terms, these diets are often deficient in several nutrients and may therefore lead to serious health problems, especially in young animals that are growing".More news: Zac Brown Band to play Blossom Music Center this summer
The Netherlands-based study analyzed 35 frozen, raw meat pet foods, looking for evidence of contaminants like salmonella, listeria and E coli. Earlier analyses on raw pet food in the United States also found similar levels of contamination.
If you're concerned about how best to feed your cats or dogs, chat to a vet for their recommendations.
They wrote: "The presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in RMBDs could therefore pose a serious risk to both animal health and public health - not only because infections with these bacteria are hard to treat, but also because of the potential of it contributing to a more widespread occurence of such bacteria".More news: Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASNA) Future Growth Projections From Analysts