I’ve written a lot about raw pet food in the past. Initially, the concerns were about Salmonella, since raw-fed dogs and cats have high rates of shedding Salmonella, and both pets and owners can get sick from it (owners can be infected directly by the pet or from handling or cross-contamination from the pet food… it’s always hard to sort that out).

More recently, I’ve been concerned about multidrug-resistant E. coli and related bacteria in raw pet diets. I think this may now be a much bigger but insidious risk. Eating a raw diet has been shown in a few studies to be a major risk factor for fecal shedding of highly antibiotic-resistant bacteria in pets, particularly extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producing bugs.

There are other facets to this problem as well. A recent paper in the journal Epidemiology and Infection (Kaindama et al, 2021) describes a cluster of human E. coli O157 infections in the UK that were linked to raw pet food. This strain of E. coli can cause serious illness in people, including hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can be fatal. The bacterium can be found in the intestines of food animals (mainly cattle) and can therefore sometimes contaminate meat, or vegetables fertilized with manure.

In this cluster, 4 people infected by a similar strain of E. coli O157 were identified.

  • All 4 patients got sick within a one-month period in 2017.
  • I’m guessing three were 6-year-old children, based on the median and age range provided in the paper. The burden of zoonotic diseases often falls disproportionately on kids.
  • Three of the patients were hospitalized, and one died.

During the investigation, no typical sources of E. coli O157 exposure were identified. The only commonalities between cases were all had contact with dogs, and a history of consuming raw carrots. Three of the patients had been exposed to dogs fed a raw meat diet, two of which had received tripe from the same supplier. The other person’s dog was not fed a raw meat diet but had contact with another dog that was fed raw meat.

E. coli O157 was subsequently found in raw pet food samples from the affected households, but they were different strains. That’s not too surprising, since contamination of the pet food would be variable, and testing would have occurred well after the food that likely caused the infection was fed. One batch might be contaminated, the next not and the next contaminated with a different strain. Finding different strains doesn’t round out the story as nicely, but it highlights other concerns. This wasn’t a one-time point exposure cause by some unusual event. Contamination of raw pet food with this concerning bacterium might be more common than has been previously recognized.

Whether these are rare cases or a small subset of actual cases is unclear. This cluster was identified because:

  • The infections occurred close together in time (within 1 month)
  • Public Health England does detailed whole genome sequence testing of E. coli O157 isolates
  • They have detailed case questionnaires
  • They looked for and found a link

Large outbreaks of disease in people involving the same E. coli O157 strain wouldn’t be expected from exposure to dogs fed diets where there’s probably a lot of small batches of the pet food produced and batch-to-batch variation with regard to contamination. Patterns need to be apparent to flag a potential problem, and sporadic cases aren’t as amenable to that. So, we don’t know if this was an exceptional event (i.e. infections are rare) or whether this was a matter of the right circumstances allowing for rare diagnosis of a more common problem.

My personal opinion here is based on seeing enough sick pets and sick people from raw diets. For that reason, I don’t like to see these diets fed. That’s particularly true in households with people or animals that are at higher risk of severe disease (i.e. young, old, pregnant, immunocompromised). If someone is going to feed a raw diet anyway, there are ways to reduce the risk to people and animals, both in terms of products that are purchased (e.g. high pressure pasteurization likely reduces the risk a lot, even though it doesn’t eliminate it) and how raw diets are handled in the home. More information about feeding raw diets and reducing the risk is available on the Worms & Germs Resources – Pets page.

I got a question about an old post on this topic, so I decided to add a bit of information and re-post it. Not much has changed since it was written in 2018, apart from more reports of people and pets getting sick from raw pet food and raw treats.

Is freeze-dried raw pet food any different than fresh or frozen raw diets, from a microbiological standpoint?

We don’t have much pet food-specific research, but there’s little reason to believe there would be much difference between these types of diets when it comes to the microbes we’re concerned about. When I want to preserve bacteria, I freeze them or freeze-dry them – those are actually the preferred methods for long-term storage of bacteria. Freezing or freeze-drying is a pretty hospitable process and state for most bacteria. Some, such as Campylobacter, don’t tolerate freezing (or especially fresh-thaw cycles) as well as others, so freezing or freeze-drying might have some impact on those specific bugs. For the higher profile pathogens like Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria, it probably doesn’t have much of an effect. I can see there being some reduction in bacterial numbers but probably nothing substantial, and certainly not enough that I’d consider it when deciding whether it’s an appropriate diet for a particular pet and household.

The story is quite different for some parasites. Many parasites and parasite eggs don’t tolerate freezing – that’s why fish for sushi is typically frozen at some point before it is served. Some are hardier than others, though. Toxoplasma, a potentially important foodborne parasite, is susceptible to freezing, but only if the temperature is low enough and the time is long enough (e.g. -12C for 3 days will kill most Toxoplasma cysts.  To put that into context, typical household freezers run around -20C).

So, the take home message is that for of the microbes that we’re worried about with raw meat,  freezing or freeze-drying is NOT a food safety practice. It’s food preservation, not bacterial control.

Another point to add… advertizing around pet diets is variable and sometimes quite dodgy. I just checked two websites selling freeze-dried raw diet. One had good info. The other… well… not so much.  Don’t let company advertizing be your infection control guidance.

More information on raw diets and toxoplamsosis are available on the Worms & Germs Resources – Pets page.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has announced an outbreak of E. coli O157 infections in people linked to Carnivora brand raw pet food, and Health Canada has issued a recall of a number of Carnivora products due to potential contamination with E. coli O157. Illnesses have been reported in four individuals in total, from British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba.  All affected individuals had exposure to Carnivora brand pet foods, and two were hospitalized due to their illness.  The concern is that the majority of infections might be overlooked, as commonly occurs in such outbreak. The outbreak once again highlights the importance of querying animal contact and contact with high risk (raw) pet foods when foodborne diseases are investigated. While people were presumably not eating the pet food, there is the potential for cross-contamination of human food when handling raw pet food, as well as potential for exposure to pathogens through things like contact with pet food bowls and pet feces.

The main concern with raw pet food tends to be Salmonella; however, E. coli O157 is another significant concern because of the  potential severity of disease. A death was reported in a UK a couple years ago from exposure to E. coli O157 from contaminated pet food.

People who have had contact with the recalled food should be aware of the risk. The odds of a problem are low in most cases and there’s nothing to do if everyone’s healthy. However, it’s critical that healthcare providers be informed of potential exposure to E. coli O157 if someone gets sick (e.g. diarrhea). That’s particularly important for this bug because use of antibiotics (not usually needed for people with diarrhea, though they’re over-prescribed anyway) is a major risk factor for inducing hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially fatal complication of infection with E. coli O157.

While most dogs and cats that eat raw diets are fine, and most owners don’t get sick, it’s clear that feeding raw diet or raw animal-based treats (e.g. pig ears) is associated with risks to the pet and any human contacts. I’d rather people not feed raw diets to their pets, particularly when the pet or household members are very young, elderly, pregnant or have compromised immune systems. If none of those risk factors are present and someone wants to feed a raw diet, I’d still rather they didn’t, but there are some things that can reduce the risks, as outlined on the Worms & Germs infosheet on raw diets available on our Resources – Pets page.

Oh, and don’t go to the company’s website for accurate information about risk and risk mitigation. They bury some good prevention recommendations in a pile of often out-of-context dialogue to try to deflect any concerns and the typical raw diet misinformation. Some other raw pet food companies are up front about the risks and prevention measures – I have a lot more confidence in companies like that.

A recent study looked at human illness associated with raw pet food and has led to headlines such as “It is safe to feed raw pet foods.

Did the study say that?  No, it did not.

If you asked 100 people if they had a foodborne disease in the past year, I assume few would say “yes,” despite the widespread estimate that about 30% of people get a foodborne illness every year. If you ask people if they got a foodborne disease from a specific food, the numbers would be even weaker / lower. People generally don’t have good recall for things like that, since we don’t usually recognize a cause when we get intestinal disease. The odds of someone linking their vomiting or diarrhea to their pet’s food are low, especially if they have no awareness that their pet’s food is a risk. Even if someone thinks about the source of their disease (which probably isn’t overly common), would they think about their pet’s food as the source, versus other foods in the house, versus a restaurant, versus anywhere else they ate? I suspect the average pet owner would not.

The problem isn’t the study, it’s how the study has been interpreted. It didn’t (and couldn’t) get a good estimate of the burden of disease associated with raw pet diets. The title of the study is Owners’ perception of acquiring infections through raw pet food: a comprehensive internet-based survey (Anturaniemi et al, Vet Rec, 2019). It looked at perceptions, which is useful, but has a lot of limitations.

The study was an internet survey of pet owners who fed raw diets. Internet surveys are easy to do, but are problematic for a few reasons. When you ask 1000 people to complete a survey and 990 respond, you know you captured your population well. If 10 respond, you know you haven’t and maybe you have a biased group of respondents (e.g. people that were more motivated / biased one way or another might be more likely to respond). With an internet survey, you generally have no idea how many people got the survey, and therefore no idea what percentage of people responded. The survey was disseminated through the research group’s Facebook page and through the researchers’ own academic, private and industrial contacts, so the people invited may not reflect the typical pet owning population. That doesn’t mean the results are useless (I’ve done internet surveys myself), it just means we need to be careful interpreting results. I tend to approach surveys as tools to get some basic information to figure out what questions to address more thoroughly, rather than tools to  answer specific questions.

The main question that was asked in this study was “Are there/have there been people in your household that have become sick from handling raw pet food or that have become sick from contact with a raw pet food eating pet?

That’s a question we want to answer. However, it’s not a question the general public is well equipped to answer themselves.

  • The sample size was large (16,475 households), which is good, but there’s not much information about the households to determine how reflective they are of the broader population.
  • Most had been feeding raw diets for years, but some were pretty recent (e.g. 0.1 years, which is not much time for someone to get sick as a result).
  • Overall, 0.2% of households reported a “confirmed” transmission from the pet or food. That’s a relatively small number, but 0.2% per year means a lot of sick people. I’m actually surprised that people reported getting sick from their pet’s food at all. I’d expect massive under-recognition and under-reporting, so seeing any reports is interesting. If you consider that in most foodborne disease, reported cases usually account for less than 10% of the real number (and probably less than that here), the true burden of disease based on these numbers is quite a bit higher, to a level I’d certainly be concerned about.
  • Salmonella and Campylobacter were most the commonly reported infections. However, most of the time, there was no effort to confirm the pet food as the source, so it’s hard to say what the numbers really mean.
  • In situations where there was “confirmed” transmission, 31% of the time the pet was sick at the same time. That maybe strengthens the association between human and animal disease, but also maybe shows potential bias. Are people more likely to blame the pet/food if both they and their pet are sick at the same time, and blame human food or not consider pet food if the pet isn’t sick? I have no idea, but that could greatly influence self-reported data.
  • Interestingly, raw foods were handled in the same place as human food and with human food utensils significantly more often in the negative households. That’s the opposite of what I’d expect. The counter argument might be that people who handle raw pet food poorly are not tuned into the risks and are therefore less likely to identify or blame the pet food if they get sick.

The authors sum things up in a more balanced manner than internet headline writers:

“As a conclusion, this large study population from all over the world shows that the transmission of zoonotic pathogens might happen, but it seems to be sporadic. It is clear that the precise source of the pathogen is often challenging to find, which makes the interpretation of the result difficult. However, studies using different kind of approaches should be conducted in the future to be able to get a better understanding of the true risks or possible health benefits of feeding raw food diets to pets. This way the true pros and cons can be accurately analysed, before asking pet owners not to feed their pets with a nutritionally balanced raw diet.”

That’s a good conclusion. This study provides some baseline information and can help tailor future studies. It helps us figure out how to get a good answer rather than giving us a good answer now.

More information about ways to reduce the risk from feeding raw diets is available on the Worms & Germs Resources – Pets page.

Back in 2008, we reported an association between feeding raw diets to dogs and shedding of cephalosporin-resistant bacteria in dogs (that makes me feel old… one of many things that does these days, I guess). It didn’t get too much attention at the time, since the main focus of the study was on Salmonella, the most commonly discussed concern with raw diet feeding. We also didn’t pay as much attention to those other bacteria 11 years ago.

I was speaking about antibiotic resistance at the 2019 ACVIM Forum in Phoenix AZ last week, and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing bacteria kept coming up – not just from me, but also in lots of questions from the audience. ESBLs are enzymes that bacteria produce to break down some commonly used (and important) antibiotics, including 3rd generation cephalosporins. These bacteria also tend to acquire various other resistance genes, making some strains highly drug-resistant. ESBLs can be produced by a range of Gram negative bacteria, most notably E. coli, and these bacteria are causing more and more problems. Bacteria can also be resistant to 3rd generation cephalosporins via a different resistance mechanism that’s also of concern. Sometimes, studies focus just on ESBLs while others cover cephalosporin resistance by other mechanisms as well. Resistance by either mechanism is a problem.

One thing that got a lot of people talking at the conference was discussion of things that increase a dog’s risk of shedding ESBLs (or, more broadly, antibiotic-resistant bacteria). One risk factor is previous antibiotic treatment. That’s not surprising. The other big risk factor that’s come up in a few recent studies happens to be feeding raw diets.

  • Our study from 2008 reported dogs that ate raw meat were 15X more likely to shed cephalosporin-resistant E. coli.
  • A UK study reported an 11X higher risk of shedding 3rd generation cephalosporin-resistant E. coli by raw fed dogs. (Schmidt et al. 2015)
  • Another study from the UK reported that dogs that ate raw poultry were 48X as likely to shed ESBL E. coli compared to dogs that didn’t. (They were also 104X (!!) as likely to shed E. coli resistant to fluoroquinolones, another important drug class). (Wedley et al. 2017)
  • In a Dutch study, dogs that were fed raw meat were twice as likely to shed ESBL producing E. coli. (Baede et al. 2015)
  • The same Dutch group also looked at cats, and found that raw feeding was the only factor associated with shedding ESBL-producing bacteria, with a 32X increased risk. (Baede et al. 2017)

These results are actually not surprising.  Resistant bugs can be present in food animals, and those bugs can then contaminate the meat from those animals at slaughter or a subsequent step in the production chain. Measures are taken to reduce the risk, but whether it’s an “ultra-premium” raw diet product or meat from the local grocery store, there’s always some risk of bacterial contamination. That’s why we cook meat, and why we should always use basic hygiene practices to reduce cross-contamination and inadvertent exposure to harmful bacteria in the kitchen and elsewhere.

I won’t get into the whole raw diet discussion here but will hit on some of my highlights:

  • Raw feeding is associated with risk to the pet and owners, and should be avoided whenever possible.
  • In some situations, raw diets should never be fed to pets, including households with young kids, elderly individuals, pregnant women or immunocompromised individuals, or with animals that fit into similar risk groups.
  • High-pressure pasteurization likely reduces contaminant levels but doesn’t sterilize the food. If someone is going to feed a raw diet, they should use one of these diets but still consider the food contaminated.

More information about raw diets and how to reduce the risk when feeding a raw diet is available on the Worms & Germs Resources – Pets page.

Raw diets have been in the news a lot lately because of Salmonella contamination. It’s not surprising at all since bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter and Listeria are expected to be found in raw meat (that’s why we cook it). We know that dogs and cats fed raw meat are at increased risk of shedding bacteria like Salmonella, sometimes with serious consequences to the animals or their owners.

Reducing the risk is a challenge when you know there’s a reasonable chance the food is contaminated, and when the preferred method of control (cooking) isn’t used. Irradiation is an alternative approach, but not something in which a lot of raw feeders are probably interested. High pressure pasteurization (HPP) is therefore increasingly being used to help control bacterial contamination of these products. HPP, as the name suggests, uses high pressure (with minimal increases in temperature) to reduce bacterial loads.

Notice I said reduce, not eliminate.  That’s the problem.

A while ago, I used to go on the assumption that raw food products that underwent HPP were similar in risk to commercial cooked diets, with the disclaimer that we don’t really know for sure. We still don’t know a lot, but what we know now isn’t encouraging, so I’ve had to change that assumption.

I’ve talked to a few people who have done limited investigations of foods treated with HPP, and the results were disappointing. Unfortunately the studies were small and remain unpublished.

A 2016 research abstract gives us a bit more substance (although a proper research paper would be preferred). In that study (Hasty et al. 2016, Reciprocal Meat Conference – Meat and Poultry Safety), raw beef pet food was spiked with E. coli. (A harmless strain of E coli was used in place of a disease-causing strain or other bacteria like Salmonella, presumably because of biosafety concerns.) They used a HPP process that subjected the meat to a standard pressure (600 mpa) for 480 seconds. Then they checked to see if any viable bacteria were left in the meat.

The good news: There was a definite reduction in viable bacteria.

The bad news: It didn’t kill them all.

This doesn’t mean HPP is ineffective. It’s a matter of being aware of what it can do, and what it can’t. It can reduce the number of viable bacteria in the food, and that probably reduces the risk of disease in people and pets. But it does not eliminate all the bacteria, so it can’t eliminate the risk (only proper cooking and handling will do that).

If someone is going to feed a raw diet, I’d still recommend using a HPP-treated diet versus one that has bot been treated. However, people have to realize it’s not a panacea and that they still have to assume the food is contaminated.

Here’s a quick reminder of some basic take-home messages for raw meat feeding:

  • There’s always some risk of bacterial contamination. We can reduce, but not eliminate, that risk.
  • Careful handling is required to prevent cross-contamination of human foods, surfaces and environments. A little common sense when it comes to food handling can go a long way (but it’s amazing how uncommon “common sense” can be… check out Barfblog.com for annals of food safety stupidity).
  • Raw meat diets should not be fed to dogs and cats at increased risk of serious disease (e.g. very young, elderly, pregnant, immunocompromised) or in households where people (or pets) fitting those categories are present.
  • People who feed raw diets should make sure their veterinarian knows this, should their pet get sick. The same applies on the other side of the One Health spectrum – if someone is feeding raw meat to their pet and a person in the household has gastrointestinal disease, exposure to raw meat needs to be mentioned to the physician involved.

More information about raw meat feeding and basic safety practices is available on the Worms & Germs Resources – Pets page.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has recalled some lots of raw pet food from Woody’s Pet Food Deli, after linking them to a human infection. The link isn’t definite, but was obviously enough to prompt a recall.

The situation involves a person who developed salmonellosis and, as is typical, an investigation of possible sources ensued. Salmonella Reading was isolated from the person. This strain has been previously found in raw turkey-based pet food, and the affected person had handled just such a product that was fed to the patient’s dog. A fecal sample from the dog was tested and Salmonella was isolated. It wasn’t Salmonella Reading, but isolation of Salmonella from the dog was enough to cause concern, particularly given the previous linkage of this Salmonella strain to raw pet food-associated infections. If no other potential sources were identified, it’s reasonable to assume the pet food was the source.

The source of the Salmonella found in the dog was likely also the food, since Salmonella shedding by dogs is rare. Samples of raw food from the manufacturer were tested and Salmonella (not S. Reading) was isolated, which prompted the recall. An issue that comes up in investigation of raw pet food-associated outbreaks is the small production batches and the variability of contamination. By the time someone gets exposed to Salmonella from pet food, gets sick, goes to the doctor, gets tested, the result is reported and public health investigates, the batch of product that was originally fed to the dog is typically long gone. So, other batches have to be tested and even if the food was the source, subsequent batches may not be contaminated or, as is the suspicion here, might be contaminated with different Salmonella.

Finding Salmonella in raw meat is expected, and human (and animal) illnesses occur sporadically. They’re underreported and we don’t really understand the full scope of the problem. However, these infection are preventable.

I’m long past the stage where I think I can convince people not to feed raw diets to their pets. That’s a personal decision, and while I think it creates unnecessary risk and hassles, it’s going to be done by some. However, there are some households where raw diets should NOT be fed. These include households where high risk people or animals are present, i.e. individuals who are more likely to get sick and/or more likely to develop serious illness. Households with young kids, elderly individuals, immunocompromised individuals or pregnant women are high risk. The same applies to animals, so households with old, very young, immunocompromised or pregnant dogs/cats should avoid raw feeding too. I’m also wary of it in growing animals, since there are lots of cases of nutritional deficiencies when the diet being fed isn’t properly balanced for such an animal (which is tricky to do).

For people who choose to feed a raw diet, the key is using some simple precautions to reduce (though they will not eliminate) the risk. We have a fact sheet outlining these practices on the Worms & Germs Resources – Pets page.

We’ve known for some time that there are human health risks from feeding pets raw meat-based diets. Most of the evidence of this has been anecdotal, as published reports have been sparse. A few better documented reports have started to appear, including the fatal E. coli O157 infection I wrote about recently.

A few days ago, the CDC released a report about an outbreak of Salmonella Infantis infections in the US. It involved 92 people from 29 US starts and was linked to raw chicken products. Raw chicken-based pet food was among the raw chicken products from which the outbreak strain was isolated, and one person got sick after their pets ate chicken-based raw food.

This isn’t particularly surprising since Salmonella contamination is an inherent risk with raw poultry. Human disease can occur when people ingest Salmonella from undercooked meat or from contamination of their hands or environmental surfaces (e.g. in the kitchen). When it comes to raw pet food, people can be exposed from handling the food, cross contamination of food or surfaces, contamination of the food bowl or exposure to Salmonella in in feces of the pet.

CDC’s recommendation is pretty straightforward: “CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets. Germs like Salmonella in raw pet food can make your pets sick. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet”.

I have the same recommendation, but am realistic enough to know that it’s still going to be done by some people. It definitely shouldn’t be done in households with very young, very old, pregnant or immunocompromised people or animals.

If you are going to feed raw diets to your pet, do it wisely. More information about this is available on the Worms & Germs Resources – Pets page.

Human health risks from raw pet food (either from exposure to pathogens in the food or in the feces of pets eating the food) are known to exist but they’re not well characterized. We know that dogs fed raw meat-based diets clearly have increased risk of shedding various pathogens, particularly Salmonella and multidrug resistant E. coli. We know this results in some degree of disease risk in animals and in humans, but the scope of the problem is poorly understood. A recent report from Public Health England provides some more information about the risks associated with feeding raw pet food.

The report is about four people who were infected with E coli O157, a particularly nasty strain of E. coli that can cause serious disease in people.

  • One person developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a particularly severe consequence of infection, and died.
  • The four cases involved the same strain of E. coli O157. Three individuals had been exposed to dogs fed a raw meat diet. Tripe was the specific ingredient that was implicated.
  • Samples of raw pet food were collected for testing. All samples from one raw pet food producer were positive for STEC (shiga toxigenic E. coli, the group to which E. coli O157 belongs). A positive test was also obtained from the freezer of one of the affected individuals, and from one sample of raw tripe. It strain isolated from the tripe was a different from the outbreak strain but supported the notion that tripe might have been the cause. It’s not surprising that they couldn’t isolate the outbreak strain from the food, given the lag from the time of exposure of people to the time of sampling of pet food. Contamination is probably sporadic, with different strains contaminating different batches.

Feeding raw meat-based diets is popular, but associated with risks to pets and people (have we said that enough times yet?). My preference is for it not to be done, but I’m realistic enough to know that people are going to do it anyway. So, I focus on two things:

  1. Who should definitely NOT feed raw meat to their pets?
    • Households where pets or people are at increased risk of severe disease, including those where young, old, pregnant or immunocompromised individuals (human or animal) are present.
  2. If raw meat is to be fed, how can the risk be reduced?

I think I’ve covered this before (probably a few times), but the question keeps coming up so it can’t hurt to talk about it again:

Is freeze-dried raw pet food any different than fresh or frozen raw diets, from a microbiological standpoint?

We don’t have much pet food-specific research, but there’s little reason to believe there would be much difference when it comes to the things we’re concerned about. When I want to preserve bacteria, I freeze them or freeze-dry them. Those are actually the preferred methods for long-term storage. Freezing or freeze-drying is a pretty hospitable process and state for most bacteria. Some, such as Campylobacter, don’t tolerate freezing (or especially fresh-thaw cycles) as well as others, so freezing or freeze-drying might have some impact on those specific bugs. For the higher profile pathogens like Salmonella and Listeria, it probably doesn’t make a difference.

The story is quite different for some parasites. Many parasites and parasite eggs don’t tolerate freezing (that’s why fish for sushi is typically frozen at some point). Some are hardier than others, though. Toxoplasma, a potentially important foodborne parasite, is susceptible to freezing, but only if the temperature is low enough and the time is long enough (e.g. -12C for 3 days will kill most Toxoplasma cysts).

So, the take home message is that for of the microbes that we’re worried about with raw meat,  freezing or freeze-drying is NOT a food safety practice. It’s food preservation, not bacterial control.