Denatured, 3D and 4D Meats. Why you should NOT Feed Them!
Denatured meat or 3D and 4D meats has become a controversial topic amongst the raw feeding community. This article will explain what denatured meat is and our stance on feeding these meats.
What is denatured meat?:
Denatured meat is the process in which meat is prepared for dog food. This process is done to colour the meat showing that it is not fit for human consumption.
It is often called 3D or 4D meat. These meats come from animals that are either down, dying, diseased or dead, but what exactly does this mean? Animals that fall into the above 4 categories have reached the abattoir and have been deemed not fit for human consumption either because they have died or are dying, have found to be down (injured or unable to stand and/or walk due to illness or injury) or have been found to be diseased. Once an inspector has deemed the meat not fit for human consumption it is moved to be used within the pet food industry (either raw or kibble).
This meat then goes through a process called denaturing where it is coloured or stained to show it is not fit for humans to eat.
The chemicals used in this process vary and come in many forms including:
Crude carbolic acid
FD & C no.3 green, no.1 blue or no.2 blue
Is denatured meat safe for our pets?:
Whilst there is no law against using denatured meat within the pet food industry as responsible raw feeders it is not something we advise or recommend feeding. Whilst these meats are a lot cheaper (we love a bargain) they do come with health warnings.
Meat that comes from diseased animals whilst it has been treated can still carry small amounts of disease which we do not want to give to our pets.
The chemicals used in the process of denaturing meat can be harmful to our pets, this means when fed in high quantities they can cause long term health problems to our animals which may go unnoticed.
As it is impossible to know how much chemical residue has been absorbed by the meat we do not recommend feeding any denatured meat as part of a raw diet.
Charcoal; what’s the problem?:
Many people use charcoal in human medicine to help with gastric upset however activated charcoal is used in many medical professions to absorb toxins within the body.
Charcoal absorbs some of the nutrients in the meat meaning less is absorbed by our pets. If the levels of charcoal in denatured meat are high this can lead to a nutrient deficient pet.
Charcoal is one of the most used chemicals in denaturing meat and is something we do not recommend feeding as part of a raw diet.
We highly recommend that everyone read labels carefully and ask your supplier if they use such meats.