Breeder’s Choice Pet Foods newly opened Pet Food Safety Lab (PFSL) marked its official grand opening on July 29, 2022, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate the brand-new, state-of-the-art facility.
Breeder’s Choice invested one million dollars in the Pet Food Safety Lab and related facility improvements. The Pet Food Safety Lab (PFSL) is a world-class testing facility serving the pet food industry and its consumers with microbiological, chemical, and physical testing methods to assure raw material and finished product quality and safety.
Breeder’s Choice Pet Foods, originally established in 1947, is currently celebrating its 75thanniversary this year. Since it was acquired by Lucy Pet Products in December of 2020, the company has invested significantly in its people, infrastructure, quality, safety and new product innovation.
The new Pet Food Safety Lab enables Breeder’s Choice Pet Foods to offer expanded testing services to its co-manufacturing brand customers and is creating new jobs within the community as the lab boasts a staff of food chemists, microbiologists, and lab technicians.
The grand opening is a culmination of nearly eleven months of planning, development and construction. “Every decision we make starts and ends with quality. From the nutrition formulations, raw materials we source, people in our plant, and the Quality Safety testing at every step, everything we do contributes to the pets who eat the foods we produce,” said Joey Herrick, CEO. “This was a major project for us in the midst of COVID-19 and supply chain disruptions, everything took longer than we anticipated,” Herrick continued.
Since its inception in 1947, Breeder’s Choice has produced super premium pet foods and built a reputation for quality that is unrivaled in the industry. After recent acquisition by Lucy Pet Products led by industry legend Joey Herrick (founder of Natural Balance Pet Foods), Breeder’s Choice has taken quality to a new level by building a laboratory strictly dedicated to analysis of pet food raw materials and finished product.
In addition to testing for known microbiological and chemical containments, the new lab includes DNA testing of proteins and dedicated PCR testing capabilities (Polymerase Chain Reaction). PCR is a highly accurate way to diagnose certain diseases and genetic changes. With PCR, the PFSL has the ability to assure that pet food has been vigorously tested for any dangerous microbiological organisms before any product is released to the market. Further, the state-of-the-art liquid chromatography system equipped with a triple quad mass spectrophotometer detector (LCMS) can test for a variety of contaminants as well as verify nutrient/vitamin levels.
The Pet Food Safety Lab also launched its website www.petfoodsafetylab.com to post results of routine testing of pet food with a Certificate of Analysis. Consumers will be able to visit their brand website, look for the Pet Food Safety Testing link, and using the “Best By” date code from their bag of food, view the results of the testing for their specific pet food’s production batch.
The PFSL is headed by Steve Lunetta, vice president of quality and safety and Jay Trivedi, senior manager of quality and food safety. Steve Lunetta has a BS (Chemistry) from UC Riverside, MS (Chemistry) from UC Davis and MBA from Lake Forest in Chicago IL. He has 25 years of experience in pharma, diagnostics, nutraceuticals and pet/human food industry. Jay Trivedi has a BS degree in food science and technology from Cal Poly University, Pomona. He is a PCQI lead instructor animal foods, certified SQF (GFSI system) auditor and has over 25 years of experience in the pet foods, human foods and cosmetic industries combined.