Freshpet Inc. will expand its Freshpet Kitchens in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA. The expansion comes just two years after Freshpet first opened its 60,000-square-foot facility in the Lehigh Valley and is designed to support the company's rapid growth and continued expansion.

The 32,000-square-foot addition will allow Freshpet to double its capacity by the middle of 2016, and is expected to create up to 60 new jobs in Bethlehem, in addition to the hundreds of construction jobs held during the building period.

Freshpet will complete the expansion in two phases. The first phase, recently completed, was focused on repositioning the inbound docks to optimize the flow of fresh ingredients through the Freshpet Kitchens. The second phase, in progress now, focuses on the infrastructure, including two additional state-of-the-art production lines custom built to prepare Freshpet's proprietary recipes.

Because Freshpet's No. 1 priority is pet safety, the extension will also include an advanced quality assurance lab, where microbiology testing for food safety and quality will be conducted. This new facility will be registered with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and earn a Safe Quality Food Level 3 Certification, the highest honor of its kind.

"We are proud to be in the Lehigh Valley and are always looking for talented people to join the Freshpet family," says Richard Thompson, CEO of Freshpet, Inc. "We appreciate all of the support the community has given us, and we look forward to working further with the community to help strengthen the local economy and serve more pets 'fresh' healthy food."

 Freshpet dog and cat food can be found in more than 14,000 retail stores across the U.S. and Canada. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at the Freshpet Kitchens on Friday, August 7, 2015.