Should You be Down with High Pressure Pasteurization (HPP)?

Salmonella and raw pet food
High-pressure pasteurization will kill the Salmonella bacteria, but it will also compromise the good enzymes and proteins in raw food.

There is no doubt about the incredible health benefits of a raw food diet for your pets. However, when you are dealing with raw foods there will always be a risk of bacterial contamination; primarily, the fear of Salmonella poisoning.

To ease the concern of pet parents that want to feed their pets a raw food diet, the raw food industry has used High-Pressure Pasteurization (HPP) as a possible solution.

But, no good deed goes unpunished, so in this blog, we’re going to ask the question: should you be down with HPP?

The Threat of Salmonella in Raw Pet Food

The fear of Salmonella poisoning is not new. In fact, Salmonella could be responsible for up to half of the human bacterial infections every year.

Making a chicken for the family dinner is a balancing act of constantly washing, cleaning and trying not to cross contaminate anything that has come into contact with the raw chicken.  Just to be on the safe side, we all probably tend to overcook it.

But, when you’re balancing the numerous benefits that raw food has on your pet with the threat of Salmonella, raw feeding becomes a little more difficult.

Where Do You Find Salmonella

High-Pressure Pasteurization
Buying raw foods with human grade meats will minimize the chance of Salmonella without exposing the food to HPP.

Salmonella can live in the gut of the animals that we eat and that we feed our pets. Even under the most humane circumstances, when the live animals are humanely sourced for meat, should any content of the gut come into contact with the meat that we eat, Salmonella can quickly spread to your home, your dinner plate, and even your pet food bowl.

High-Pressure Pasteurization

In an effort to give you the best of both worlds, a healthy raw food diet without the fear of Salmonella, one solution is High-Pressure Pasteurization (HPP.) However, the process of putting raw food through a high-pressure environment may kill the Salmonella, but it will also change the chemical makeup of the meat.

The reason for raw food diets is to reap the benefits that organic, locally sourced, raw meats provide your pets. Unfortunately, all of those good elements of raw food are also compromised during HPP.

Enzymes, Proteins, and Flavor

All the wonderful enzymes and proteins that we provide our pets with a raw food diet could be rendered moot after being exposed to an HPP environment. Even the flavor of the food could be compromised. HPP may prevent Salmonella, but if it also takes away many of the food benefits, then the downside greatly outweighs the benefits.

Avoiding Salmonella without HPP

Raw pet food in Berkeley

If you’re worried about Salmonella (and you should be) then there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of Salmonella contamination.

Rather than compromising your raw food with HPP, make sure it consists of human grade meats. The higher the quality of meat, the more likely it will be Salmonella-free. Also, check the facility that is preparing your raw food to ensure they are taking the right precautionary measures to avoid Salmonella contamination.

You want to make sure that your raw meat is stored at the right temperatures, and that you are also working in a clean and sterile environment when preparing raw food for your pets.