The national trade association for the US pet food industry, the Pet Food Institute (PFI), issued a reminder about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) pet food safety rule.

FSMA is the most comprehensive change to US food safety regulation, including animal feed and pet food and treats, in more than 70 years. The law’s regulations contain new requirements affecting virtually all US pet food and treat makers, with enforcement and compliance activities beginning this September.

The FSMA law and its implementing regulations focus on foodborne illness prevention instead of reactionary recalls by establishing mandatory product safety standards. The animal food rule and other FSMA rules impact pet food and treat makers. With very few exceptions, all pet food and treat makers must meet the following FSMA requirements in the next 1-3 years, depending on company size:

  • Pet food makers must implement Current Good Manufacturing Practices that include requirements for employees, facility design, equipment upkeep and maintenance;
  • Pet food makers must identify and evaluate hazards associated with the foods they make and implement preventive controls that address those hazards;
  • Pet food makers must develop and implement a food safety plan detailing the steps they are taking to ensure product safety, from sourcing ingredients to carrying out a product recall; and
  • Pet food makers must also comply with FSMA requirements regarding foreign suppliers and sanitary transportation for both finished pet food/treats and ingredients.

PFI helped develop the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance curriculum, which is designed to ensure all pet food and treat makers, regardless of size, understand and meet their FSMA requirements.

Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized the Current Good Manufacturing Practices and Hazard Analysis and Preventive Controls for Food for Animals rule under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The rule went into effect November 17, 2015. The regulation, commonly referred to as the animal feed preventive control rule, covers all facilities that manufacture, process, hold or pack animal food. One key requirement of the rule is training.