The U.S. Department of Agriculture has no regulatory authority over pet food. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the manufacture of cat food, dog food and dog treats or snacks that you have in your pantry. FDA regulation on pet food is similar to other animal feeds.
The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (Law FD&C) requires that all foods of animal origin, such as food for humans, be safe for consumption, produced in sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances and be labeled truthfully. In addition, canned pet food must be processed in accordance with low acid canned food regulations to ensure that pet food is free of viable microorganisms, see Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 113 (21 CFR 11) Exploring EU Legislation for raw pet food and the key differences between commercial and homemade raw diets. The current status of FSMA labeling requirements FOR AAFCO INGREDIENTS may be approved by the AAFCO Ingredient Definitions Committee for inclusion in its. It is possible that an ingredient has gone through the process to receive a Food Additive Request from the FDA, which would be listed on the FDA website.
Also on the FDA website, there is a list of ingredients that are generally recognized as safe (GRAS). There are processes for companies to self-affirm GRAS. In addition, ingredients that were in use before 1958 and have not caused any problems are considered safe and legal for use. With regard to federal regulation, pet food manufacturers and their suppliers have always been required to market safe products under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&CA) of 1938, which regulates food for humans and animals.
In this regard, PFI members adopted good manufacturing practices decades ago. PFI has worked from standard-setting to implementation to ensure that our members are well aware of their obligations to the FSMA. Our efforts will continue during the compliance and enforcement phase, and PFI continues to engage our members, federal and state regulators and other stakeholders to ensure that pet food and treat manufacturers, as well as state and FDA officials who conduct FSMA understand clearly the expectations of FSMA compliance and monitoring. Most States Regulate Pet Food Under Their Animal Feeding Laws.
An easy way for states to keep their feed laws up to date is to adopt the Association of American Food Control Officers (AAFCO) draft model laws and regulations mentioned above, which set out, for example, CGMPs, ingredient definitions and requirements for pet food and product declarations. States can also adopt AAFCO CGMPs. These have been in place for a while, and the AAFCO is currently in the process of adopting federal CGMPs required by the FSMA. The AAFCO also provides language that allows states to adopt FSMA regulations in their entirety.
Federal and state regulators (on behalf of FDA) are inspecting facilities for compliance with FSMA requirements. But indeed, pet food is subject to negligible regulation. However, consumers need to be aware of raw food handling practices. Most raw (or undercooked) pet foods consist of meat, ground bones, guts, raw eggs, vegetables or fruits, and some dairy products.
Because of these raw materials, there has been increased concern about cross-contamination of bacteria, such as salmonella, in humans. These bacteria can pose a danger to people in the household, especially children, the elderly and people with poor immune systems. Although dogs and cats may be more resistant to these bacteria, they are not immune and can become seriously ill. Actually, FDA policies make you wonder if they think any pet food is safe, although raw pet food gets special attention.
An ingredient cannot be used in pet food until it has been accepted by the FDA and adopted by the Association of American Feed Officials (AAFCO), the organization of state regulatory officials that develops draft model laws and regulations on pet food that states can adopt in their respective state laws and regulations. Feeding dogs and cats with products containing raw meat has become noticeably more popular in recent years among pet owners in many developed countries. Dog food is not subject to the same scrutiny, regulation and enforcement that applies to actual food. Coli counts have been found not to exceed threshold levels for raw human meat products in a high proportion of food sampled in both Europe and North America (Freeman & Michel 2001, Weese et al.
However, it is important to remember that neither the FDA nor the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees meat-based food products, has a zero-tolerance policy for Salmonella in human food, even though people often handle raw meat, agricultural products and other foods that can (and sometimes are) contaminated. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates both finished pet food products (including treats and chews) and their ingredients. Researchers sampling raw pet food from retail stores have observed that package warnings about the preparation and hygienic handling of these pet foods are often absent (Finley et al. However, it is plausible that, for certain people and certain diets, raw eating may lead to improvements in clinical signs related to, for example, food intolerances, inflammatory bowel conditions and some other conditions where dietary influences have been established.
Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine also has regulations for animal feeding and pet food. Listeria monocytogenes was isolated from 54% of Dutch products sold as raw frozen pet food (van Bree et al. In the next article, I will discuss other possible concerns regarding raw diets, such as parasites, ensuring that a raw diet is complete and balanced, and how commercial and homemade raw diets may differ in these aspects. In addition, aspects of raw feeding that may have been underestimated until recently include the increase in the frequency and number of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in raw foods and the risk of exotic pet, livestock and zoonotic diseases associated with imported raw meats.