New network helps track problems with pet food

Published on October 01, 2011
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The Food and Drug Administration announced the launch of the Pet Event Tracking Network in August to help track problems with pet food.

PETNet is a voluntary surveillance and alert system that will allow federal and state agencies to share information about pet food-related illnesses and product defects. The system will be accessible to governmental officials responsible for the regulation of pet food and the investigation of disease outbreaks in companion animals.

Members of PETNet will enter events into the system when they have identified a trend or a suspicious incident associated with pet food as well as product defects within their jurisdiction. The information will be immediately available to all other PETNet members.

PETNet is a project of the Partnership for Food Protection. The FDA established the partnership to bring together governmental representatives in the areas of food, feed, epidemiology, laboratories, animal health, environment, and public health to develop an Integrated Food Safety System.

The partnership developed the concept for PETNet in response to the 2007 recalls of pet food contaminated with melamine. One difficulty during the incident was with the timely sharing of information among federal and state agencies.

The members of PETNet include representatives from four federal agencies, all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.