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Public Health Implications of Animals in Retail Food Outlets


Growing societal interest to permit animals into retail food outlets presents both risks and benefits to the dining public and consumers. This article summarizes a literature review that evaluated the associated potential public health issues related to this subject. Using the EBSCOhost research protocol and Google search engines between March 2010 and June 2011, the authors have compiled and synthesized scientific research articles, empirical scientific literature, and publicly available news media. While pets are known carriers of bacteria and parasites, among others, the relative risk associated with specific pet-human interactions in the dining public has yet to be established in a clear and consistent manner. Much of the available health-risk-factor evidence reflects pets in domestic conditions and interaction with farm animals. Special consideration is recommended for vulnerable populations such as children, asthmatics, the elderly, pregnant women, and the immunocompromised.


  • David T. Dyjack, DrPH, CIH
  • Jessica Ho, RD
  • Rachel Lynes, MPH
  • Jesse C. Bliss, MPH
Volume#: 76.5
Page #: 24-30
Publication Month: December 2013

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