I frequently get e-mails from people who are proponents of feeding raw meat to pets. The e-mails often start by calling me an idiot, and they generally go downhill from there. Some, however, go into detail about why they think there are no health concerns for themselves or their pets associated with feeding raw meat. Recently, one argument I’ve heard repeatedly is that using only organic meat lowers the health risks. While there are certainly merits to the organic food movement, there is absolutely no evidence that organic meat is any less likely to be contaminated with bacteria than non-organic meat, nor is there any reason to even suspect that this would be the case. Bacterial contamination occurs during slaughter and processing, and organic raising of animals has no impact on that.
More discussion about the health concerns associated with raw meat diets can be found in our raw meat archives and elsewhere. I do not recommend that people feed raw meat, particularly in certain situations such as when there are young children or people with weakened immune systems in the house. If you are considering feeding a raw meat diet to your pet, learn as much about this practice as possible so you can make an informed decision. More information about raw meat feeding and things you can do to reduce the risks that come with it can be found on the Worms & Germs Resources page.
Remember: Using organic meat is NOT an infection control measure.