PET Food Processing - March 2018 - 37
READY OR NOT?
Processors prepare for a new approach to pet food regulation and inspections.
By Pat Tovey, director of technology and regulatory compliance, Pet Food Institute
hedgehog94 - Shutterstock
Plain and simple, pets are beloved members of most
families, and safety should be the top priority for pet
food and pet treat processors of all sizes. While a majority of US households - nearly two-thirds - have
at least one dog or cat, most Americans are likely not
aware that federal regulations under the new US food
safety law, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA),
are now in force.
The members of the Washington, D.C.-based Pet
Food Institute (PFI), the national trade association
for US dog and cat food processors, are committed to
continuous improvement in food safety. PFI promotes
this culture of safety by convening members regularly
to share their food safety innovations and advancements and by funding independent pet food safety research. Additionally, PFI has worked with its member
companies over the recent years to prepare for FSMA
readiness, including new compliance requirements and
FSMA facility inspections. The time to prepare for the
changes is now.
At the most recent 2017 Feed & Pet Food Joint
Conference, which PFI held in conjunction with the
National Grain & Feed Association (NGFA), a panel of
participants in the animal feed sectors reenacted a series
of inspection scenarios that pet food processors and ingredient suppliers may now face under FSMA. The audience learned that in the new era of conversation-based
inspections with regulators, all pet food processors and
ingredient suppliers should be in-the-know and stay
ready for US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) visits
to their facilities.
Preventive controls for animal food
FSMA impacts pet food processors both large and small
by creating a shift toward regulation that focuses on prevention rather than reacting to potential food safety issues. As such, the FSMA preventive controls (PC) rule
for animal food includes requirements for adhering
to Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs),
which include components such as sanitation and training requirements for employees, facility design criteria
and equipment maintenance.
In addition, pet food processors are also required
to identify, evaluate and document potential hazards,
as well as document the PCs they are implementing to
address hazards in a written food safety plan. With the
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