FDA to regulate pet food, farm feed for safety?

Check out the proposed FDA rules for regulating pet and animal food at www.regulations.gov.

Check out the proposed FDA rules for regulating pet and animal food at www.regulations.gov.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration proposed a system for regulating pet food and animal feed that would be the first of its kind.

The main argument: animal food is different human food, but it deserves the same scrutiny and careful monitoring.

The organization offered up a lengthy list of guidelines for ensuring safe cooking and preparation of animal food as well as  nutrition standards, from farm fodder to puppy treats.

Some say the proposal, named the Preventive Controls for Food for Animals Rule, comes after a long-overdue review of recalls and reports of canine death from poisoned jerky treats.

In an effort to set standards for animal food production, the FDA says these guidelines would prevent food-borne illness in both animals and humans—Reminding that people can also get sick from handling contaminated animal food or even from petting their furry friend who has eaten contaminated food.

Picture 13Research building up to this point has been conducted by the Animal Feed Safety System Working Group.

The group’s main approach is to prevent, rather than solely respond to outbreaks, citing Salmonella outbreaks and even the instance where dog chow was laced with melamine, used to produce plastic.

If approved, the FDA would require such manufacturers and employees handling animal food to provide safety plans to prevent food borne illness. The group hopes to set a standard for nutritional content of pet food, too, through the rule, among other measures.

The proposal is not, however, set on eliminating the use of antibiotics in farm animal feed, which many fear is the leading cause behind antibacterial-resistance in humans.

For the next 120 days, the proposal is open for comment from the public. You can read the full list of suggested guidelines and voice your opinion at www.regulations.gov, more specifically, http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FDA_FRDOC_0001-4266.

To learn more, visit http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm371395.htm.

To learn more about the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which is aimed at preventing food borne illness, visit www.fda.gov/fsma.

Something else you might find interesting: http://blogs.fda.gov/fdavoice/index.php/2013/10/keeping-animal-foods-safe/

 

 

About Jen Bucciarelli

Veggie lover and aspiring word chef, reporter Jen Bucciarelli covers all things health and medicine for Rochester Media and The Community Edge. She is always on the hunt for local experts who can help improve the lives of our readers. Send her a note at [email protected].

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