PET Food Processing - June 2020 - 19

FOLLOWING THE

FOOD SAFETY

PAPER TRAIL

Careful data management and ongoing testing
are required to effectively validate ingredients.
By Jordan Tyler | jtyler@sosland.com

©2014 Erickson - stock.adobe.com

A

According to a recent joint report by Pet Food Institute, the
Institute for Feed Education and Research and the North
American Renderers Association, manufacturers in the
United States spent $6.9 billion on more than 8 billion tons
of pet food ingredients in 2019. Validating these ingredients for food safety is a crucial part of the supply chain.
Manufacturers and suppliers must manage and share an
abundance of data to ensure they are sending safe product
into the marketplace.
Thanks to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA),
current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs), and a
slew of commonly acknowledged best practices, the pet
food processing industry is well-equipped to validate ingredients for food safety. While federal regulations do not
specifically define the steps companies should take in validating ingredients, FSMA has imposed rigid guidelines for
preventing animal food from being unsafe.
"Overall, the pet food industry has a good track record
and plenty of processes and policies in place to ensure the
production of safe, wholesome pet food to feed America's
growing pet population," said Paul Davis, Ph.D., director,
quality, food safety and education, and Louise Calderwood,
director, regulatory affairs, American Feed Industry
Association, Arlington, Va.
Whether a manufacturer is receiving raw material from a
supplier or a supplier is purchasing raw material to process
prior to supplying to a manufacturer, a paper trail of

various food safety standards, certifications and records are
exchanged to validate ingredients at every step.

Setting high standards

Each pet food manufacturer maintains its own ingredient standards based on types of ingredients and finished
product specifications, Davis and Calderwood explained.
These standards are often influenced by federal standards, such as those by the US Department of Agriculture,
the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as
global benchmarks.
"Pet food manufacturers use their standards when purchasing ingredients and then the facility tests and verifies
the ingredients - through quick lab tests, visual appraisals
and smell - when they arrive at the mill to ensure they are
up to standard, both from a chemical and physical standpoint, before taking receipt and unloading," Davis and
Calderwood added.
Typically, suppliers are required to provide a Certificate
of Analysis (COA), which includes qualitative and quantitative specifications about the ingredient. Other documents
related to ingredient procurement, handling and any processing that might occur before making it to the manufacturer may also be required at this point.
"Several verification steps are taken to verify ingredient
information," said Craig Grantham, director, business development, Pet Food Solutions, Mokena, Ill., which supplies

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PFP_Jun20.indb 19

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PET Food Processing - June 2020

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