The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has assigned field staff to collect samples of raw pet food to be analyzed for Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes and E. coli.

According to FDA’s assignment, positive findings “may result in a Class I recall, press release, and Reportable Food Registry (RFR) submission.”

FDA says it is concerned about the growing number of dog and cat owners who have begun feeding raw diets to their pets.

“Feeding raw foods to household pets such as dogs or cats carries a risk to human and animal health,” FDA said.

However, FDA says it acknowledges that there is consumer demand for raw pet food and therefore is looking to educate consumers about the safe handling of the food.

 Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in a blog, offered consumers ways to protect pets and people from illness due to Salmonella and Listeria. The American Veterinary Medical Association has said it “discourages the feeding to cats and dogs of any animal-source protein that has not first been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens because of the risk of illness to cats and dogs as well as humans.”