FDA proposes animal food safety regulations

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The Food and Drug Administration is accepting comments on proposed regulations intended to increase the safety of animal food.

The proposal, available since late October, indicates that the FDA would establish regulations on manufacturing practices intended to prevent contamination of animal food, as well as require that companies enact measures to control risks when animal food is made, processed, packed, or stored. The FDA is accepting comments through Feb. 26, 2014, and more information is available under docket number FDA–2011–N–0922 here.

“The proposed rule would require that a qualified individual prepare the food safety plan, validate preventive controls, review records for implementation and effectiveness of preventive controls and the appropriateness of corrective actions, and perform the required reanalysis of a food safety plan,” the FDA said in the Oct. 29 Federal Register notice.

The Federal Register notice indicates that the proposal would fulfill requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act, which was signed into law in January 2011 and directs the FDA to establish standards for identifying hazards and implementing risk controls in animal foods. The document indicates that, while the FDA had regulations for specific issues such as the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy and tissue residues resulting from eating medicated feed, the agency had no comprehensive animal food safety regulations.

The proposal indicates that the FDA had been addressing specific animal food safety issues as they arose, as happened in 2007 with the adulteration of pet food with melamine and cyanuric acid by suppliers in China. About 1,050 animal foods would be recalled because of such contamination during 2007.

The Federal Register notice also cited animal food contamination with dioxin, aflatoxin, and Salmonella organisms in the total of 2,300 animal food recalls in fiscal years 2006-2012.