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Joint petfood, feed meeting addresses upcoming FSMA preventive control rule

Petfood and feed industry experts speaking at the 2013 Feed and Pet Food Joint Conference September 24-26 discussed elements and challenges of the preventive control rule for feed soon to be released under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Participants in the conference, presented in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, by the Pet Food Institute and National Grain & Feed Association, also heard from a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about the rule.

While the rule is one of seven dictated by FSMA, it is one of the last to be released by FDA. A recent court order has mandated that the agency release it for industry comment by November 30. Dan McChesney, PhD, director of the Office of Surveillance and Compliance for FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said he expected the rule to be out before that deadline and that it will be similar to one already released for preventive controls in human food.

A panel of petfood and feed industry experts also addressed the upcoming rule and expressed concerns that it might be too prescriptive and restrictive, especially in its establishment of good manufacturing practices (GMPs) for feed and petfood. Human food has already been operating under GMPs for some time now, while that mandate will be entirely new for animal food products (except in the case of medicated feed).

McChesney said the feed preventive control GMPs will cover personnel, plants and grounds, sanitary operations, sanitary facilities and controls, processes and controls, equipment and utensils, warehousing and distribution. He also encouraged industry comment on the proposed GMPs once the rule is released. "We probably made them too stringent and need to back off some; we're looking for feedback from you for justification to back off,” he said during the conference, adding that FDA understands there is a wide spectrum of types of manufacturing facilities in the petfood and feed industries and, therefore, hazards and risks can vary greatly.

Industry professionals and organizations will have at least six months to comment on the proposed rule after its release date.

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