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Colloidal Silver for bacterial control in raw food

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

My partner and I feed the 10 rescued cats we care for a home made raw chicken diet and have for 10 plus years, using the Pierson recipe. Just recently I looked in at her site and found that Pierson has started lightly cooking the chicken to 'kill surface bacteria'.  Some time ago we began addressing this same concern by adding colloidal silver to the water we wash the thighs in before grinding them up and then also add more CS to the final raw ground slurry that contains liver, hearts, and the ground bones.


I would like to know if anyone else uses colloidal silver this way and whether you know if Pierson has an opinion on CS.  Its just so much easier for us than adding the separate step of par-baking 80 pounds of chicken thighs each time we make a big batch.  Thanks...Deborah

post #2 of 10

Basically just bumping this up for you.


Can you not contact Pierson and ask her thoughts? 

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

I could of course but was thinking someone here might have already, and if so I could avoid pestering her again.

CS is our go-to for general antiseptic/antibacterial use in wounds, abscesses, oral care as well as for clean-up after handling raw meat.

I was just wondering if the subject of colloidal silver had a history on this list re: controlling contamination possibilities with raw food.

post #4 of 10

I couldn't find much at all on the use of CS to disinfect food. I did find this:


It's from 2005. It says that using a 32 ppm solution of CS was highly effective at killing e. coli and salmonella on the surface of meat. Given that I'm very curious to know why I couldn't find more about using it for that purpose. I did look on Amazon for the CS product used in the study. It is quite expensive, $33 for 8 oz of 22 ppm solution. 8 oz wouldn't go very far.


In the study they sprayed 10 ppm, 22 ppm and 32 ppm solutions directly on the meat. After 20 mins there was a significant reduction in the pathogens, especially with the 22 and 32 ppm solutions. But they don't say if they washed the solution off or left it on. They also don't say if the process is fit for consumption afterwards. The implication seems to be that it is. So why couldn't I find any information with regards to using it for this purpose???


Exactly what product do you use and how to you use it? I suspect you are using a solution far more dilute than what they used in the study.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

I buy 16 oz bottles of a brand called Natural Path Silver Wings, 500 ppm colloidal silver for around $83 from Twelve drops of this in an ounce of water yields a 10 ppm solution.  By far the most cost effective I've found.


I've been aiming for a 40-50 ppm solution in a large tub, soak the chicken thighs in it, and drain them just before doing the coarsest grind possible with my Taisin.


Also use a proportional amt. of the thigh bones but chop them in half first and feed them into the grinder very slowly, one piece at a time.


Then the resulting yucky bone mess is fed back through the grinder a second time to get a very fine paste.

To this and to any liver and hearts that are ground I also add a little more dilute CS before stirring it in with the muscle meat.

Along with some probiotic and enzyme powder to the basic Pierson recipe (minus the glandulars due to prion concerns).


So I've actually been exceeding the 32 ppm used in the study - good to know I can safely cut back. May need to increase my soak time a little though.


It is puzzling why there seems to be so little research into the use of CS.

post #6 of 10

Based on that study it would seem you have an effective way of controlling e. coli and salmonella contamination in your food preparation.


I'm a bit suspicious of the price of the Natural Path Silver Wings product. But who knows, maybe the other products are over priced.


I found lots of studies on cs for wound care but just that one on using on raw meat. Could be because the FDA hasn't OKed using it. Given that cooking meat is an effective way of killing pathogens maybe it isn't seen as is high priority issue.


I might touch bases with a few people I know involved in the commercial raw cat food industry to see if they know anything about it.


How did you come up with your current procedure of using  a 40-50 ppm solution? Did you find that somewhere as a recommendation for disinfecting the surface of meat?


Edit: I did some math and if you were to produce a 20 ppm cs solution using the Natural Path product to soak your meat the cost would be about $13 per 10 cups of solution. I expect you actually need more than 10 cups for soaking. Is that actually what you are doing? If so, you might find it more cost effective to use the method described in the study. That is, spray the solution on the meat. Less waste that way.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

After using CS on ourselves and our cats for over 14 years -  plus having a research PhD -  I made an educated guess about what would work on raw chicken.  Initially I went through 3 different CS-generators over a period of 4 years or so before deciding that the 500 ppm was the only feasible choice for us, given how much we need. Were it not for that, I'd probably still be making my own.


In the interests of full disclosure I should say that how well CS works on listeria is a question for me.

post #8 of 10

Did you see my edit about spraying the solution rather than soaking? The cost would go way down if you did that.

post #9 of 10

I've been doing some research on whether CS is safe to ingest and if so how much is safe. In doing so I've turned up some disconcerting information about CS products.  Essentially, laboratory tests show some products aren't what they seem.


The short story is that there are 3 different types of silver that are all marketed as "collodial silver": ionic silver, silver protein and true colloidal silver. For the purposes of reproducing the results in the study (disinfecting the surface of meat) we want ionic silver such as the product used in the study ASAP Collodial Silver 20 ppm.


When ingested the silver ions bind with chloride and are eliminated from the body.


The product used by the OP, Natural Path Silver Wings 500 ppm may be suspect. The laboratory analysis of that manufacturers Silver Wings 250 ppm product was determined by testing to be of the silver protein type which may not be safe to use for our purposes. The label on the Silver Wings 500 ppm product the OP used explicitly states it does not contain protein which should mean it isn't the silver protein type but I'm suspicious especially given the price. Correction - The label only says it doesn't contain gelatin or animal by-products. A non-animal based protein could be used.


Following is some of what can be found at



There are three distinctly different types of silver that are labeled and sold on the market as “colloidal silver”; they are ionic silver, silver protein, and true colloidal silver. Consumers seeking true colloidal silver are often at a disadvantage because each of these products represents themselves as colloidal silver.


Ionic Silver Solutions


The vast majority of products labeled and sold as colloidal silver fall into this category due to the low degree of manufacturing complexity and resulting low cost of production.  The silver content in these products consists of both silver ions and silver particles. Typically, 90% of the silver content is in the form of ionic silver and the remaining 10% of the silver content is in the form of silver particles.
 Ionic silver is not without merit. Ionic silver is a strong anti microbial and serves well in situations where chloride is not present.  When chloride is present (inside the human body), the silver particle content will survive to produce benefit.
Ionic silver products, when taken according to the manufacturers recommended dosage, will not cause argyria, a condition that causes the skin to turn blue-gray.



From "The Truth About Ionic Silver"

Silver chloride is a compound that is formed when silver ions combine with chloride ions. It is an insoluble compound which means once it is formed in the human body, it does not dissolve. Silver ions and chloride ions have such a strong attraction for each other that it is virtually impossible to keep them apart. Once they find each other, they form the silver chloride compound. All ionic silver will turn into silver chloride once inside the body because of the readily available supply of chloride ions in many different forms.


Silver chloride is an insoluble salt that does not dissolve inside the body once it has formed. Silver chloride is eliminated by the kidneys and expelled through the urine. The authors believe that only the portion of silver content contained in the particles will remain effective in the body.  



Bioavailability of Ionic Silver


Promotional claims made for ionic silver products describe it as having high bioavailability. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Merck Manual makes it clear that bioavailability is the amount of unchanged drug that reaches the systemic circulation. To be bioavailable the substance being ingested must attain systemic circulation unchanged in form. Because silver ions are highly reactive they quickly form compounds in the body and therefore cannot remain unchanged. While it is the highly reactive nature of silver ions that provides its antimicrobial properties, it also causes the rapid formation of compounds and prevents the continued existence of silver ions inside the human body. Because silver ions cannot exist inside the human body the bioavailability is virtually nonexistent. Silver compounds such as silver chloride in the blood stream provide no meaningful antimicrobial properties.


Silver Protein


Silver protein products are the second most prevalent type of so-called colloidal silver products on the market. These products consist of a combination of metallic silver particles and a protein binder, and can easily be produced by simply adding water to silver protein powder sold by various chemical companies.


Most products claiming to be high concentrations of  colloidal silver (typically in the range of 30 to 20,000 ppm) are in fact silver protein colloids. While some of these products are labeled as Silver Protein or Mild Silver Protein , many such products are simply labeled as colloidal silver and the word protein does not appear anywhere on the label or in the product advertising literature.




Due to the high concentration of large silver particles, silver protein products are known to cause argyria, a condition that causes the skin to turn blue-gray. These and other dangers associated with silver protein are described in About Silver Protein Products.


Adding protein to colloidal silver is also potentially unsafe because of bacteria, according to Professor Ronald Gibbs who discussed this fact in his booklet " Silver Colloids". He found "mild silver protein" products that had live bacteria growing on the protein.


True Colloidal Silver


True colloidal silver products are the least prevalent type of colloidal silver on the market due to high degree of manufacturing complexity and the resulting high cost of production.




Due to the very low concentration of ionic silver and small particle size, true silver colloids do not cause argyria, a condition that causes the skin to turn blue-gray.  

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Yes the monetary cost might go down if I sprayed the chicken pieces but the cost to my sanity would definitely worsen. Given that our batches are 80-100 lbs, the spraying process would add a lot of labor and time to an already distasteful chore.  But I may well be able to reduce the volume of the CS bath and bring the cost down a bit that way. I appreciate the questions and links - its good to review and look at information updates.  Although it ia hard to evaluate for conflicts of interest in much of the CS literature out there.

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