Bacteria & raw pet food safety

We’re aware as consumers that handling, preparing, and cooking raw meat in our kitchens could create a potential source of infection.

The legislation that exists for raw pet food safety is stricter than that which exists for the raw meat found in our supermarkets. Raw pet food companies must send their products off to a laboratory for regular testing of Salmonella and Enterobacteriaceae species such as E. coli and Yersinia.

meat and vegetables drawing banner

There is zero tolerance of Salmonella, and, if found, the entire batch of food must be destroyed. In addition to this, we will only tolerate a low level of Enterobacteriaceae.

You may also hear of the risks posed to raw pet food by bacteria such as Campylobacter, Clostridium, and some Listeria species. Freezing, correct handling, and storage will significantly reduce the risk of contamination. However, freezing will not kill off all species of bacteria, as is commonly believed.

Buying raw meat that’s fit for human consumption helps ensure that it has a low to nonexistent parasite burden. The risk of feeding parasite-contaminated meat is further reduced by freezing to -18c.

If a member of your family (pet or human) is on immune-compromising drugs such as those administered during chemotherapy, you may wish to consider the increased risk when feeding raw. Using Hug’s cookable range, or feeding Hug cold pressed dog food may be a safer alternative.

The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association has provided further information on raw pet food safety.
You can download the PDF here.


Safety tips for Hug pet food: raw & cooked

30 mins

Tip 1

Do not leave food down for the day, as this can make it susceptible to bacterial growth. Please pick it up after 30 minutes, maximum.

portions

Tip 2

Cats prefer fresh food, so try not to defrost too much Hug at once - ideally, defrost portioned amounts each day. Smaller portion sizes such as 100g are available in our store, which helps to keep food fresh.

fridge storage

Tip 3

The thorough cooking of food will kill bacteria. If you cook your Hug pet food, you can re-freeze it or refrigerate it before feeding. If you choose to refrigerate it, remember to keep it away from other raw items.

washing hands

Tip 4

Wash your hands after handling and cooking Hug meals.

washing bowl

Tip 5

After each use, wash your pet's bowls, dishes, and utensils with soap and hot water, rinse properly and dry before the next use. If you're using a dishwasher, select a high temperature setting.

fridge storage

Tip 6

If your Hug food arrives partially defrosted, as long as it's still cold, it's fine to refreeze.

Safety tips for Hug pet food: cold pressed

Tip 1

Our cold pressed dog food is cooked gently to kill off bacteria and parasites.

Tip 2

It needs to be stored correctly to prevent any bacterial growth and combat other risks such as mites.

Tip 3

Store in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight and seal the box.

Tip 4

Do not keep the food in an airtight container as this can cause it to 'sweat' and prevent proper airflow.

Tip 5

After each use, wash your pet's bowls, dishes, and utensils with soap and hot water, rinse properly and dry before the next use. When using a dishwasher, select a high temperature setting.

Tip 6

Do not leave food down for the day, as this can make it susceptible to bacterial growth.

Standards you can trust

The safety of Hug food is our top priority. We work hard to ensure our fresh meals are subject to the most stringent raw pet food safety and bacteria protocols in the UK. We will never release any batches of food that have not been through bacterial testing. 

We do not use green tripe in our recipes due to the risks posed by its bacterial content and only use raw ingredients we have thoroughly vetted, with absolute traceability.

All of our meat is human-grade and sourced from trusted, ethical suppliers. Additionally, we source our chicken and egg from Norway, which has been free from Salmonella for over 30 years.

We follow excellent HACCP manufacturing controls and carry out DEFRA-approved microbiological testing. Hug complies with the Legal Trading Requirement of the APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency), so we abide by all EU and UK laws created to keep food safe.

Our Manufacturing Facilities are registered by DEFRA. Registered plant No.
45/083/8103/ABP/PTF.