Pet Food Processing / Pet Food Safety
on April 25, 2011

Emerging food safety technologies

What are the best ways to keep pathogens out of your petfood?

Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes are three words that instantly grow gray hairs on the heads of every petfood manufacturer. The health of your customers, both furry and otherwise, has to be your top priority. The only way to stay vigilant is to take the proper precautions by using the most innovative technology from reliable sources.

Intervention tools that can assure your finished petfood and treat products are pathogen free are essential. There is no better way to avoid recalls and build consumer trust, but whatever system you decide to put in to place must meet specific requirements. According to Ed O'Neill, VP of quality systems and technical service at Nature's Variety, these requirements are:

  • An insignificant to no impact on the temperature of the petfood cooking process;
  • Must work in a natural and an organic environment;
  • Minimal to no impact on the palatability and nutritional quality of the product; and
  • Compatible with a premium product line.

High pressure processing (HPP) uniformly applied to food is a relatively new way petfood producers are trying to meet these specifications and protect their products. Although HPP is proven to reduce both E.coli and Salmonella in meat (see Figures 1 and 2), it requires expensive equipment and can often be logistically difficult. If a raw petfood product has a high moisture content, HHP can be applied to packaged, finished products. There are no further opportunities for recontamination until the package is opened by the consumer. What if you want to…

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