Pet Food Safety

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Story Updated: Oct 7, 2013

Food safety is a priority for our families...and that often extends to our furry family members, too.

Salmonella in pet foods and treats can cause serious infections in dogs, cats, and in people too.

So the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is offering safety tips on how to best handle pet food.

Start at the store by checking the packages on food and treats. Make sure nothing is ripped or open.

Once you're home, make sure the pet bowls are clean. It's best to clean the bowls after every meal. And don't use them as a scoop. A utensil designed for the job is best.

Once you've added food and water, wash your hands with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds. Same advice applies if you're handling treats.

Dry food can be stored in a container...but leftover wet food should be refrigerated.

If the food spoils, throw it away and start again. Fido and Fluffy will be grateful that you're protecting their health...and yours.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the health news for you and your family.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com