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FDA Introduces FSMA Rule to Improve Animal Food Safety

The latest proposed rule issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is meant to improve the safety of animal food.

Under the regulation, facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold animal feed and pet food would be required to develop and implement a formal plan for identifying and preventing potential hazards, as well as establishing plans for correcting problems.

The rule would also require facilities to follow current good manufacturing practices (CGMP) that promote conditions and practices that protect against contamination. Human food facilities have been held to such guidelines for years, but this is the first regulation specifically applying them to animal food facilities.

While the preventive controls for animal food resemble the processes set out in FDA’s proposed rule on human food, they address a different set of hazards, extending beyond pathogens to chemicals such as mycotoxins.

“This proposed rule on animal food complements proposed rules published in January 2013 for produce safety and facilities that manufacture food for humans to set modern, prevention-based standards for food safety,” said Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Michael Taylor in an FDA statement Friday. “They also work in concert with standards proposed in July 2013 to help ensure that imported foods are as safe as those produced domestically.”

The Proposed Rule for Preventive Controls for Animal Food Facilities will be published next week, followed by 120 days for public comment. FDA will also hold three public meetings on the rule in November and December.

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