FSMA – Helping Prevent Recalls in The Pet Food Production

The pet food industry is expected to top $44B this year. That’s a lot of pet food, and pet owners demand high quality. They want the best for their pets and expect products like pet food to be manufactured with the highest standards. However, that wasn’t always the case until recent years. As a pet food manufacturer, safety concerns can lead to dire consequences from lost sales, irreparable brand damage, and legal issues.

Before FSMA, pet food producers weren’t accountable for the same level of safety and standards. With the passing and implementation of FSMA regulations, pet food safety during and after its production is ensured. FSMA systematizes food safety protocols for registered facilities involved in manufacturing, packing, processing, and holding products within the country. These efforts are aimed at eradicating the inconsistency and standardizing of animal food quality.

With FSMA’s heightened protocols for animal food comes an increased responsibility for pet food brand manufacturers.

What’s Involved in a Pet Food Recall?

When animal food is declared unfit or contaminated, it calls for an emergency-like situation. As a result, a Quality Assurance Manager has to step in to halt production and investigate immediately. Sometimes, the pet food manufacturers get a recall when the product has already entered the market. This can potentially cause health issues in animals or even a child that mistakingly takes food from the dog bowl. A market withdrawal will be initiated if the released product presents only a slight violation that isn’t subjected to lawful action. For instance, a product must be withdrawn from the market without evidence of distribution or problems in manufacturing. Manufacturers are required to follow the industry best practices that include creating a favorable release program. It ensures that the product is only introduced once microbiological or analytical test results are accepted. So, suppose the test results are not within the acceptable limits due to factors such as contamination. Then, it is imperative to take corrective actions, including preventing the affected product from releasing in the market.

The Recalls to Watch For

It has become easier for customers to see if your specific product is on the recall list. Not only does a quick search online show recall information, but news like those spreads through social media instantly, and in many cases, draws national media attention.

The Food and Drug Administration Department (FDA) has a concise, clear, and comprehensive summary of each pet food recall. The overview also includes any recalls that are still in the process. It’s one of the simplest ways to comprehend food recall lists. The United States Food and Drug Administration splits the removal of pet food into three categories of recalls. The four most common reasons for pet food recalls are toxins, bacterial infections, nutritional deficiencies, and foreign material. In addition, there is a market withdrawal category too.

Over the past decade, recalls have mostly been because of pathogen-related issues as follows:

  • Class-I recall. It’s a condition where there is a logical possibility that the exposure to or use of a violative product may cause severe adverse health consequences or, even worse, i.e., death.
  • Class-II recall. It’s a scenario in which exposure to or use of a violative product may pose reversible health consequences or where the likelihood of serious health concerns is remote.
  • Class-III recall. It is a condition where exposure to or use of a violative product may not possibly cause health-related severe outcomes.
  • Market withdrawal. This situation occurs when a product has a slight violation that wouldn’t cause FDA to take legal action. In that case, the company either corrects the violation or removes the product from the marketplace. For instance, a product eliminated from the market because of tampering would be considered a market withdrawal without distribution problems or manufacturing evidence.

The FSMA Final Rule for Animal Food

The final rule for animal food aims to reduce product issues and minimize product recalls within the pet food industry. Food and Drug Administration Department necessitated the rule to regulate pet food safety and keep a check on manufacturers. Before this, the FDA had a limited role and oversight regarding the quality of pet food. However, the pet food industry must first invest in the infrastructure essentials to enhance pet food safety standards.

At present, FSMA expands the regulatory powers and guidance while ensuring that the manufacturers implement a robust preventative approach.

Essentially, the rule requires animal food manufacturers and facilities to set up and execute a strong food safety plan with proper hazard analysis to determine the risks and minimize them. This, in turn, propels manufacturers to eliminate inconsistencies in pet food safety, standardize it, improve the overall quality, and diminish product and health-related issues, thereby ensuring production compliance.

From a manufacturer’s standpoint, you need to comply with the standardization requirements as registered facilities are mainly engaged in the manufacturing, processing, transporting, storing, and packaging pet food products nationally.

The FSMA rule has helped the manufacturers achieve a wide range of essential improvements where pet food and products safety is concerned. However, it also ensures that the pet food industry pays attention to the infrastructure to improve pet food safety standards. Furthermore, it also educated and informed the on-site teams about food safety that manufacturers must follow. In addition, external and internal audits are critical to a successful program.

So, how will manufacturers adhere to these regulations? Improved sanitation.

Prevent Food Recalls with Improved Sanitation

Sanitation has become a necessary preventive control for manufacturers that are feeling the pressure to address hazards. As a pet food company, you must understand how to manage, implement, and revise solid sanitation programs to produce quality food products. This requires setting up improved sanitation programs that can withstand oversight and scrutiny by regulatory personnel. In addition, the Food Safety Modernization Act demands a robust sanitation program for monitoring specific verification, corrective action, and validation.

Pet food manufacturing requires cleaning and sanitation solutions that can help adhere to FSMA regulations. Therefore, steam and sanitation solutions are vital players in improving sanitation. It is also imperative to adequately train all the employees to know the production process and eliminate any contamination that can impede pet food safety.

We offer a full range of customizable solutions for steam cleaning and deep surface sanitation. Our dry steam cleaners leverage the power of low moisture and high temperature that helps you clean surfaces such as industrial machinery and equipment.

All in all, our dry steam cleaning and alcohol-based surface sanitizing solutions can help you mitigate food recalls and improve your overall sanitation process significantly.

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