Although salmonella contamination of any food be it either pet food or human food should not be taken lightly, I thought it important to start this thread in hopes of alleviating some of the fears associated with the concerns of possible salmonella contamination in pet foods.
In all actuality it seems that the chance of a cat or dog getting ill from salmonella is not as great as humans becoming ill due to unsafe handling of any poultry product or poultry based pet food.
This article is a good starting point and I hope others will post any other information on this subject they might have here.
"Overall, though, cat deaths from salmonella are uncommon - especially without infection from some outside source. For many cats, especially indoor cats, food would be the most likely source of infection. And it is possible for commercial cat food to become infected. In February of 2007, the FDA warned consumers that it had discovered salmonella in Wild Kitty cat food. Wild Kitty is a premium brand of raw meat cat food, delivered frozen and organically sterilized. Salmonella infection is also possible in more processed types of cat food, but seems to be rare.
Any infection in cat food is cause for alarm though, not just because of the danger to cats but because of the risk to humans. Handling infected food during feeding could potentially infect both you and your cat. This risk is actually much greater than the risk of salmonella being transferred to you via the cat.
It is theoretically possible for a cat to infect a person with salmonella. A lot of cats are infected with the virus even though they aren't harmed by it. They remain "subclinical" or not displaying any symptoms, but still carry the virus. And research has shown that infected cats do shed types of the virus that are communicable to humans. Still, actual cases of people getting salmonella from cats are practically unheard of. (A 2004 study, published in the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, determined that healthy cats are "generally safe," though there may a greater chance of transmission from sick cats or those whose immune systems are being suppressed by medication.)
But handling infected food is another story. Food handling is one of the main ways people get salmonella, and it doesn't have to be food you're preparing to eat yourself. That suggests it's just as possible to get salmonella from handling infected cat food as it is from handling any other kind of infected food.
So the short answer is that you probably don't need to worry too much about salmonella infected cat food harming your cat. The current outbreaks in particular are unlikely to affect pet food
A more detailed answer is that it's always a good idea to keep an eye on the web or other news sources for word of FDA recalls. Other salmonella oubreaks have affected pet food. And if there should be another such outbreak, you'll want to know about it.
In the long run, you probably face a greater risk of salmonella poisoning than your cat does, although it's a small risk when you look at the big picture. The best way to make these risks even smaller is by taking very basic precautions. Always wash your hands after handling your cat's food, and especially after cleaning the litter box. With basic common sense precautions, both you and your cat should be fine."