Salmonella risk for your child could be lurking in your dog bowl

By Fiona Macrae

Risk: Infected food in kitchen dog bowls has been linked child salmonella cases

Animal lovers who feed their pets in the kitchen could be putting their children at risk of the potentially deadly salmonella bug, experts have warned.

The warning follows an outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting traced back to dry dog food - with children whose pets were fed in the kitchen most vulnerable.

Although most cases of the bug clear up without treatment, the infection can be fatal.

The journal Pediatrics traced the course of two outbreaks of the bug in the U.S. During the first, in 2006, all the infections were found to be caused by one particular strain of the bug.

In 2007, researchers interviewed families affected by a second outbreak and nearby families who weren't ill. They soon noticed a common thread of pet ownership among households with salmonella cases.

The bug was traced to foods made by one manufacturer, with pets fed in the kitchen the most likely to spread the disease.

Casey Behravesh, of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said: 'This really raises concerns that dry pet foods might be an unrecognised source of illness, especially for children.'

She advises hand-washing after contact with pets or pet food. Pet food bowls and feeding areas should be regularly disinfected and bowls washed outside.

Salmonella infects 10,000 Britons a year and kills around 15.

But it could provide doctors with a new weapon against cancer.

The Netherlands Cancer Institute has found that the salmonella bug can kickstart the immune system into fighting tumours.

In tests on mice, it killed skin cancer tumour cells and stopped the disease spreading to other parts of the body, the journal Science Translational Medicine reports

source :dailymail