A recent study conducted by Dr. Emily Luisana of North Carolina State University in Raleigh and her colleagues demonstrated that many pet owners do not handle pet food and bowls safely. According to their study people did not handle their pet food or pet dishes in manner that reduces the bacteria that causes illness in both people and pets.
Pet food should not come in contact with surfaces where human food is prepared, bowls must be thoroughly cleaned and/or sanitized and people should wash their hands after handling food and bowls.
Sue’s Note: This is especially important where children are concerned because they will touch pet food and bowls, and possibly put their fingers in their mouths without washing them.
Older pets whose digestive systems are weakened from age or illness may not be able to tolerate the bacteria buildup and suffer further health issues. Treats such as rawhide, natural bones, pig ears, cow hooves and other such products are a high risk due to the bacteria on them as well as a choking or intestine blockage risk for dogs.
Pet bowls and any utensils used with the pet food such as forks, spoons, etc. should be washed with very hot water and soap or run through a dishwasher after each use, this would include water bowls which should be cleaned at least daily.