The Food and Drug Administration is seeking comments on a draft guidance for industry on the manufacture and labeling of raw meat foods for companion and captive noncompanion carnivores and omnivores.
The draft guidance is a response to increased use of raw meat food by owners of companion and noncompanion animals and other individuals who may not be aware of food safety and nutritional deficiency concerns posed by raw meat foods.
Commercial foods for carnivorous and omnivorous animals containing raw meat or other animal tissues have been available for many years. These products were commonly purchased and used by zoos, mink farms, dog-racing facilities, and other professional establishments that presumably are aware of the potential dangers posed by raw meat foods. A new trend toward use of raw meat foods by pet owners and others who may not be aware of the potential for harm, however, is cause for concern.
The FDA believes that raw meat products are a potential public health risk, and as such, warrant more specific industry guidance to protect pets and pet owners.
The draft guidance, guidance for industry No. 122, is available on the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine Web site, www.fda.gov/cvm/guidance/published.htm#published_3. Comments on the draft guidance must be submitted by March 3, 2003 to be considered.