Handling Raw Meat

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Otis
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Handling Raw Meat

Postby Otis » Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:25 am

I'm sure this has been covered a bit and I'm read somethings in a few threads.

This is a bit about my dog and cats, and a bit about me I guess. I'm starting to transition to a raw diet. Though, I know absolutely nothing about meat. I've been a vegetarian since I was 11 and vegan for 5 years. The only meat I've ever purchased has been bags and cans of dog and cat food. Though its time to face the music-I am an herbivore, and my animals are carnivores-and I can no longer hide behind dehydrated kibble.

I was reading in the BARF thread that things like pork had to be frozen for a while to be safe? How long does meat have to be frozen before you can feed it? What kinds of meats have to be frozen and for how long? If I feed a meaty bone, where do I feed it? I don't have a backyard, I have a balcony though. Would I have to disinfect it after I let her eat a meaty bone? Is it ok for her to lick my face after she eats? What about a cat that cleans itself right after it eats, and you pet it? Is there some risk there? I feel crazy typing this-being weary about petting my own goddamn cat.

I bought some stuff from whole foods, which was really expensive but I care a lot about the treatment of the animals, my hope is to go visit some farms and look the animal my dogs and cats will eat in the eye, so I can truly feel ok about it. I would only be buying organic, hopefully free range, meat-so that should decrease the chances of salmonela and e-coli?

Today I fed her a bit of ground buffalo meat and a raw egg mixed in with a bit of kibble. I didn't freeze it first though so now I am worried. I should have read more before I started feeding her-so I am going to hold off until I feel totally confident and have a plan worked out. I was so freaked about handling everything, I washed my hands like 20 billion times and disinfected everything, used separate utensils and stuff like that. I don't use chemical cleaners, just used sun and earth dish detergent and doctor bronners soap-is that enough? I also read that hydrogen peroxide and vinger can be used so I'll invest in that.

I felt like I just walked into a sex shop while I was looking at the meat isle. I felt like everyone was staring at me-I wanted to tell everyone, "Its not for me, I swear, its for my dog!!!" My palms started sweating and I felt like I was going to throw up, I got a little beef liver juice on my hands and freaked. Gosh, I can roll around in a pasture all day with a live cow but put me up against its prepackaged innards and I freak!

Hopefully this is appropriate for the section and hasn't been covered a bunch-just trying to learn as much as I can

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Misskiwi67
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Re: Handling Raw Meat

Postby Misskiwi67 » Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:38 am

Unfortunately, being free-range does not decrease the risk of e-coli and salmonella contamination, at least not to the best of my knowledge. These potential pathogens are species of bacteria commonly found in the GI tracts of numerous species. Its the slaughter process (exposing meat to GI contents) that contaminates the meat, not how they were raised.

If you washed your hands/countertops/utensils thoroughly, you are doing everything you can to prevent contamination of the places you fix your own meals with these bacteria.

If you are purchasing free-range meats, these meats are more likely to have parasites (pork especially) that can affect your pets, and this is the reason for freezing. Freezing destroys most parasites, but I'm not sure exactly how long meat should be frozen. I'm pretty sure its weeks, not days, however.

Also, numerous studies have shown dogs shed 30% more e-coli, salmonella, and campylobacter... so you'll want to be extra careful about washing your hands after interacting with your furry family too.

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Re: Handling Raw Meat

Postby Otis » Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:45 am

I'm not sure I understand the last part, so I should wash my hands after interacting with my animals?

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Re: Handling Raw Meat

Postby pacopoe » Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:56 am

raw meaty bones + towels = your best friend!

It's cool, I know vegans who feed raw and it took them a bit but you just get used to it. My one vegan friend feeds stuff i can't even handle! roflmao

Personally, I just stick to chicken because it's cheap and because my friend had a bad experience with her dog getting a parasite from pork (and it would cause noxious gas in Paco). And I'm also not too fond of chickens as a species (j/k).

Once you start feeding raw you get more comfortable with it. It's a bit like jumping off the deep end of a pool in that the idea is scarier than the practice, but so long as you handle things safely then it shouldn't be an issue.

Oh, and to answer your question, I forget how long you're supposed to freeze pork for... FransterDoo should know.

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Re: Handling Raw Meat

Postby Misskiwi67 » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:13 am

Otis wrote:I'm not sure I understand the last part, so I should wash my hands after interacting with my animals?


Yes, when you feed raw, your animals become just as likely to be a source of salmonealla, e-coli and campylobacter as the foods you feed them. Again, its not like you need to take a disinfectant bath, or dip your dogs in vinegar, just wash your hands before you eat.

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Re: Handling Raw Meat

Postby FransterDoo » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:52 am

Otis wrote: Though its time to face the music-I am an herbivore, and my animals are carnivores-and I can no longer hide behind dehydrated kibble.


The head of one of the country's largest raw co-ops is a vegan. She's expressed that same things you have about why she feeds raw.

I was reading in the BARF thread that things like pork had to be frozen for a while to be safe?
How long does meat have to be frozen before you can feed it? What kinds of meats have to be frozen and for how long?


I don't freeze anything as a precaution that has been butchered and stored for human use. I do freeze any wild game that we get. The whole freeze/overcook pork is left over from years ago when farmers were allowed to feed their pigs garbage and the meat contained parasites.

That being said, the only super cheap-o meat I feed is chicken and turkey. But my wife also works for a company that sells beef, pork and lamb.

I do mostly feed meat that has been frozen b/c we buy in bulk and have a small chest freezer.


If I feed a meaty bone, where do I feed it? I don't have a backyard, I have a balcony though.


My dogs eat in the kitchen on a mat. Sometimes we'll get a hold of a crazy big cut (like a whole fresh ham) and then I'll just let them loose in the kitchen with it and clean up afterward.


[/quote]Would I have to disinfect it after I let her eat a meaty bone?
I wipe down any spills with a spray of vinegar and a drop or two of Tea Tree or Lemon Oil. or Method products.

Is it ok for her to lick my face after she eats? What about a cat that cleans itself right after it eats, and you pet it? Is there some risk there? I feel crazy typing this-being weary about petting my own goddamn cat.


NO - don't let your animals touch you for at least 36 hours after eating raw. All the raw feeders here do it. Alternatively, you can dip your pets in a bleach wash after eating. It's the only way to stay safe....

ok, that's bullcrap. If you are generally healthy, don't have some kind of auto immune disease, it's fine. There are thousands and thousands of us feeding raw (including breeders who wean to raw) and while I'm sure someone will find a story to refute this - generally, there are no problems.


I would only be buying organic, hopefully free range, meat-so that should decrease the chances of salmonela and e-coli?


Not really. You can check out sites like EatWild and look for family farms with human slaughter practices. Also know that having your meat certified Organic is a prohibitively expensive process so many small family farms chose not to. The term "Free range" only means (according to the USDA) that the animals have access to the outside. Michael Pollan addresses this in the Omnivore's Dilemma regarding the free range poultry at Petaluma Poultry.

We settle for balance. I buy Foster Farms chicken, no-name turkey during Thanksgiving and the rest comes from my wife's work. Since she's observed many of their farms and the slaughter process, i know those animals were treated humanely.

Today I fed her a bit of ground buffalo meat and a raw egg mixed in with a bit of kibble.


Dogs tend to do better with kibble one meal and raw the next. Give that a try.
Also, whole paycheck is really expensive. Check out Dogaware.com for a list of resources near you. Also try googling the nearest big city or region near you and "raw" "barf" "dog food" and see it there's a co-op by you. Also try Carnivore Feed Supplier on Yahoo groups.

I didn't freeze it first though so now I am worried. I should have read more before I started feeding her-so I am going to hold off until I feel totally confident and have a plan worked out. I was so freaked about handling everything, I washed my hands like 20 billion times and disinfected everything, used separate utensils and stuff like that. I don't use chemical cleaners, just used sun and earth dish detergent and doctor bronners soap-is that enough? I also read that hydrogen peroxide and vinger can be used so I'll invest in that.


We don't use chemicals either. It's totally fine. Don't believe the brainwashing of the Clorox company and that commercial about wash out your dog's bowl and baby's toys with a bleach rinse.

I felt like I just walked into a sex shop while I was looking at the meat isle. I felt like everyone was staring at me-I wanted to tell everyone, "Its not for me, I swear, its for my dog!!!" My palms started sweating and I felt like I was going to throw up, I got a little beef liver juice on my hands and freaked. Gosh, I can roll around in a pasture all day with a live cow but put me up against its prepackaged innards and I freak!

Hopefully this is appropriate for the section and hasn't been covered a bunch-just trying to learn as much as I can


Maybe we should hook you up with Ana's friend!

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Re: Handling Raw Meat

Postby FransterDoo » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:53 am

argh! got my quotes all f'ed up.

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Re: Handling Raw Meat

Postby KadillacGrrl » Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:20 am

I'm SO not a paranoid meat handler... I just practice basic cross-contamination rules but am by no means paranoid. No ultra hot water, anti-bac soap, vigorous washing, using only this cutting board for meat, etc.

It's probably why I rarely get sick. I think I'd have to swallow a cup of salmonella to catch the chocolate.

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Re: Handling Raw Meat

Postby Otis » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:55 pm

Thanks for all the information! Its really good to hear that people are bit more lax about handling the meat. I'm not a big hand washer or paranoid person when it comes to germs-so being this way was freaking me out. I will probably still be a bit more paranoid then the normal person-but at least I know I don't have to have a panic attack every time I feed...I was so freaking stressed out this morning...

I did join the Baltimore co-op but I totally forgot about it. The whole thing was really confusing-a chocolate ton of e-mails in my inbox everyday. I should definitely look back into it. I think Amie and Babyreba are members-I guess I'll shoot them a pm about how the whole thing works.

I have read omnivores dilemma, so when I say free range I mean I want FREE RANGE, purely grass fed beef, chickens who are allowed outside-things like that. I am going to be working for an organic farm in the hopefully not to distant future, in which I will be raising my own chickens and goats-though having no partaking in the slaughtering-thats my bosses job. I figure as a vegan its better to be in the system making sure the animals are humanely raised then outside preaching for abstinence. I'm not too worried about being certified organic-though I do want the animals to be organic. Though in these fledgling stages I am being a little less conscience-it sucks but it will take a lot of research to find the farms-I don't buy labels.

How do I defrost meat? I just set it out this morning but it took forever so I put it in the oven for a bit.

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Re: Handling Raw Meat

Postby GusBus » Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:36 pm

We arent crazy paranoid over here about handling raw meat either... just wash our hands and any utensils and thats about it.

We feed our dog almost everything frozen - but mainly because he will scarf it down in half a second if its thawed, and he doesnt seem to mind it being frozen. Probably the best way to thaw is put whatever it is in a ziploc bag and fill the sink with cold water and let it sit... thats usually how they suggest thawing out whole turkeys and it works well.

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Re: Handling Raw Meat

Postby FransterDoo » Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:45 pm

We defrost in the fridge preferable. I can take a day or so depending on how long the meats been frozen and how big the piece is.

We also have a big prep bucket from the restaurant supply store (20+ quarts or something) and we'll put the bag o' meat in there and fill with cool water. They it can sit in the sink overnight and defrost.

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Re: Handling Raw Meat

Postby Misskiwi67 » Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:27 pm

You can also look for certified humane raised beef/chicken/pork. Its going to be too expensive for my fiance' and I to raise organic when we finally get our hobby farm going, but we plan on doing certified humane (it'll be easy for us with free-range animals) in order to help market our "raised with care" livestock.

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Re: Handling Raw Meat

Postby maximusflys » Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:58 pm

Check out www.animalfood.com if you are worried where the animals come from.

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Fed raw ...as Nature intended; as a total and preventive health program

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Re: Handling Raw Meat

Postby BabyReba » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:08 pm

Maddy, if you're on the raw-feeding list, every 6 weeks a bunch of us get together and order from Blue Ridge Beef in bulk and the pickup happens in Catonsville . . . stuff's reasonable from there but not really super cheap.

Also, Peter Beukers from Top Quality Dog Food comes through Baltimore once per month at least and is usually willing to meet you in between deliveries as needed. He's got reasonable prices and he also does have some free-range and organic options available on some items. www.topqualitydogfood.com

Also, in Belair-Edison, there's a meat-packing place that makes K9 Kraving--it's frozen, premade raw diet food. I feed it and have had great success with it. I don't bother doing the organic only route, but they have free range, hormone free options for some of their stuff. It comes to roughly $2 per pound, I think, for the chicken and beef options. They also have turkey, mackerel, buffalo . . . Aja is a local distributor, you can contact her at aja@muttmagic.com if you want to sign up for her mailing list, which will let you know what she's got and when she's doing deliveries.


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