Our Safety Principles

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Our safety standards are very high.

We produce healthy, complete raw meals without extra processing. 

Here’s why and how.


Sourcing from small, humane, local farms is our first line of food safety.

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Any great chef will tell you a recipe is only as good as the ingredients. We take that seriously at State of Nature Raw. All of our ingredients are locally sourced. We know where they come from and how they are raised. Humanely and as naturally as possible. No antibiotics, no added hormones.

We have long standing relationships with all of our suppliers. Many of them have dogs and cats of their own. They understand our requirements for the best possible quality ingredients. All of our ingredients are USDA for human consumption grade.

So, why humanely raised? Aside from the obvious philosophy that every animal should live in a safe and healthy environment, humanely raised livestock puts less pressure on our environmental challenges, and also less likely to carry dangerous pathogens.

Unclean water, poor quality feed and overcrowding can lead to unwanted contamination. The two main pathogens, salmonella and listeria, that lead to recalls in raw food can be passed on a few ways. The first way is on the farm. “Humanely” means not only with kindness, but with clean water, room to wander and clean, fresh feed. Grassy fields whenever possible.

State of Nature Raw does not rely on middle men for our ingredients. We reject large meat packing companies and poultry processing plants. Product safety and quality ingredients go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. To ensure this we do all the sourcing ourselves.


Our Safety Protcol

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  • We vet our sources. We make sure our ingredients are from small farms known to us. Where livestock is raised in clean, natural surroundings.
  • All our meats are USDA human grade
  • Once our ingredients arrive fresh from our sources we grind the recipes, vacuum seal the packages and freeze them within a few short hours (or less). Human handling is minimum.
  • Production is small batch only. This allows for easier monitoring of the production area.
  • Once the day is done we break down all our equipment and high temperature steam clean all the individual parts. Then we steam clean the floors, the walls and anything else we may have used in production. Sometimes we even hit each other. Ooops.
  • No chemicals are ever used to clean our kitchen.

We Test Our Products in a Different Way

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We live with seven German Shepherds (and, as of June 2016, nine German Shepherd puppies) on the premises of State of Nature Raw. They are our loved pets and our State of Nature Raw team. We test our products the old fashioned way. We feed our team directly from whatever food we are grinding that day, twice a day, for the length of their lives. The puppies will start on State of Nature Raw at three weeks old. A little bit every day until they are weaned. When they go off to their new homes we will be certain that they are in optimum health. You can meet all of our dogs on the Meet Our Dogs page (even the new puppies).


No Batch Testing

Batch testing is a random selection or selections taken from a batch of produced food. The samples are sent to a lab for analysis, particularly looking for pathogens. State of Nature Raw does not batch test. We believe batch testing creates a false assurance of safety. Pathogens are not spread throughout, rather they live in small areas. You’d have to test the entire batch to declare it free from pathogens. That is simply not possible. Batch testing cannot actually guarantee the safety of a complete batch of food. To be honest, the cost of batch testing every single batch of food is prohibitive. Especially when the results are never conclusive.


No HPP

A lot has been said and discovered about this newest raw food pasteurization process. HPP is high pressure pasteurization. Meaning the process applies 87,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. Which is supposed to rapidly and uniformly inactivate bacteria and other key cellular structures necessary for the growth and function of bacteria. In other words, bacteria is squeezed to death by rupturing cell walls.

Some manufacturers of HPP equipment assure us that beneficial bacteria are present in high levels of raw food. So while some may be lost during the process there are still plenty left after the process. Huh?

State of Nature Raw believes the HPP process more than likely breaks down the walls of all bacteria, both good and bad.

Beneficial bacteria is full of enzymes. Enzymes that work to keep the bad bacteria from multiplying rapidly, (it’s called competitive inhibition). Once the good bacteria is destroyed there is nothing to keep the bad bacteria from growing out of control. Here’s the catch, the other possible place raw food can pick up pathogenic bacteria is through handling and production post HPP. As well as exposure if thawed raw food is not handled properly at feeding time. (Please review our Safe Handling page).

With all that applied pressure it is more than likely HPP also denatures protein. Once a protein is denatured it begins to curl up on itself, rendering it water soluble.

We believe the more than likely loss of proteins and good bacteria during the HPP process negates the reason for feeding your pet a raw diet. Which brings us to…

State of Nature Raw believes in order to claim a raw diet is as close to a wild diet as possible, giving your dog or cat nutrition in its best form, raw food should not be pasteurized at all.

 

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