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Team meets to discuss petfood safety at GFSI conference

Members of a food safety validation team met at the 2012 edition of the Global Food Safety Initiative's Global Food Safety Conference, February 14-17, in Orlando, Florida, USA, to give a presentation on food safety of low-moisture foods, including petfood.

The Food Safety Validation team presented to the GFSI board, including representatives from Yum! Brands, Walmart, petfood manufacturer Cargill, Danone, Kroger, COFCO Corp. (China), Tyson Foods and others. Steve Akins of Petfood Industry magazine began the presentation with an overview of the team and its members, made up of representatives from Extru-Tech Inc., Del Monte Foods, Food Safety Validation LLC and Petfood Industry magazine.

Norm Schmitt of Extru-Tech presented the team’s goals and how they align with those of the GFSI. These goals are to reduce food safety risk and build on the competency of workers responsible for ensuring food safety, with a focus on low-moisture foods including petfood and pet treats that are manufactured using extrusion and baking and drying processes. Schmitt said the team aims to enhance existing food safety programs, increase food safety awareness across the food industry, reduce the number of recalls and strengthen consumer trust.

David Anderson of Del Monte Foods provided a description of the team’s extrusion equipment enhancements and plant layout and safety changes. Anderson and Schmitt also spoke about the team’s upcoming milestones, such as planned May 2012 extrusion thermal process validation testing on an Extru-Tech production machine.

Finally, Frank Yiannas, GFSI board vice chairman and Walmart’s vice president of food safety and health, encouraged retailer promotion of low-moisture food safety, including in the fast-growing petfood market, through universal adoption of the GFSI standards and a common validation approach.

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