Assuring pet food safety through human-grade diets

Learn how a human-grade diet stands out as a trusted food option for pet owners.

There are a number of different options and alternatives within the pet food market. From kibble and wet food to whole food diets, each one promotes different benefits. But when recommending nutritional products to clients, it is important to consider the food safety process behind the pet food ingredients. “Sadly, most of the pet food on the market today isn’t produced to the same standards as the food that you and I eat,” says Raised Right’s CEO and co-founder Braeden Ruud.

Feed-grade vs. human-grade

It is common for most ingredients within pet food to match ‘feed-grade’ levels. This means the ingredients do not pass the standards necessary for human consumption and can include things like 4-D meats (dying, diseased, dead or destroyed). On the other hand, there are companies such as Raised Right who make human-grade pet food. “To be a true human-grade pet food company, all the food must be made in a USDA inspected human-grade facility and every ingredient must pass the same standards necessary for human consumption,” says Ruud.

Safety within each step of the food making process

Raised Right’s food is lightly cooked to the minimum temperatures required by the USDA to kill pathogens like E. coli, listeria, and salmonella. For beef and pork, that is 145 F and 165 F for poultry. The process of low-temperature cooking meets the USDA pathogen kill step, while still maintaining high levels of moisture and nutritional integrity.

Furthermore, Raised Right has a hold release program. Every single batch is laboratory safety tested and the food is not shipped unless it passes. “For transparency, we post the results of these tests on our website for everyone to see, along with a map tracing our ingredients to their source and a video showing how our food gets made,” says Ruud, whose family started feeding their pets a whole food diet in 2007.

The making of a safer company

The idea for Raised Right was born after the Melamine Pet Food Recall of 2007 – an outbreak of contaminants that resulted in the death of thousands of pets. “My Mom, Mary Ann, started making home cooked food for our family’s pets,” says Ruud. “Once people heard about what my Mom was doing, they wanted her to start cooking for their pets too because they didn’t trust the food they were feeding their pets either.” The family was inspired to create a company built on a foundation of safety and transparency.

The subject of pet food safety is not a trend – it’s an important element of nutrition that’s here to stay. To learn more about human-grade ingredients and whether the lightly cooked whole food diet meets the needs of your clients, visit