On November 1, 2013
Petfood safety purrs and growls for 2013
Raves and rebukes for people and organizations involved in US petfood safety this year
The recent release of the proposed feed/petfood preventive control rule under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) caps a year of news, progress, regress and concerns about petfood safety in the US, making this a fitting time to assign accolades and criticisms to entities and people involved.Purrs to petfood companies and executives who act on the belief that petfood safety is not proprietary or a competitive advantage. The philosophy is that sharing ideas, programs and best practices with the rest of the industry is crucial to ensuring the safety of all petfood products, building cooperation with regulators such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and gaining consumer trust. While I have heard this sentiment often since FSMA was passed in January 2011, the fact that executives from companies such as Del Monte, Diamond Pet Foods, C.J. Foods, Mars and P&G Pet Care have openly discussed their companies' petfood safety programs at industry conferences this year tells me that at least for them, it's more than just lip service. Purrs to, again, petfood companies that include finished products in their Salmonella testing programs. There's a perception among consumers and even veterinarians that most petfood companies don't test their finished products before distributing them. Lorie Huston, DVM, made that assertion on PetMD.com earlier this year without citing any studies or data to back her claim. A PetMD.com survey of consumers apparently worded a question to imply that it's "common industry practice" to ship products before test results are final—and of ...