Animal Food Safety Standards

The FSMA final rule was published in September 2015 and larger animal food facilities were required to comply with the Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) requirements by September 2016.

The second major compliance dates for the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventive Controls for Animal Food rule arrived in September 2017. This rule requires that larger animal food facilities comply with the preventive controls’ requirements since September 18, 2017, and facilities that are small businesses were required to implement the CGMPs by that date.

As of September 2018, small businesses also must meet preventive controls requirements and very small businesses must implement the CGMPs.

This rule requires animal food facilities to have a food safety plan in place that includes an analysis of hazards to determine which ones need control and risk-based preventive controls to minimize or prevent those hazards.

To gain an understanding of food safety hazards and adopt preventive measures that help minimize health risks at human and animal food facilities.

“Establishing risk-based preventive controls designed to protect your animal food and the consumer (humans purchasing the animal food and animals consuming the food) from biological, chemical (including radiological), and physical hazards. Risk-based preventive controls will not give you a zero-risk system for manufacturing, processing, packing, and holding animal food; rather, risk-based preventive controls are designed to minimize the risk of known or reasonably foreseeable animal food hazards that may cause illness or injury to humans or animals if they are present in the animal food you produce” (USDA/FDA, 2022 P2). 

In accordance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food safety refers to the conditions and practices that preserve the quality of food to prevent contamination and food-borne illnesses.

Under the FSMA, human and animal food facilities are required to develop food safety plans that evaluate food safety hazards and identify the preventive measures to guard against those hazards. The plans must also describe how manufacturers will monitor their preventive measures to ensure they are working and keep records of that monitoring. Manufacturers also must develop a plan of action to correct problems.

Key Requirements

  1. Covered facilities must follow Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) for animal food production.
  2. Covered facilities must establish and implement a food safety system that includes an analysis of hazards and, if necessary, risk-based preventive controls. The rule sets requirements for a written food safety plan that includes:
  3. Some animal food facilities will need a supply-chain program to address hazards in raw materials and other ingredients. 
  4. The definition of a ‘farm’ describes two types of farm operations. Operations meeting the definition of ‘farm’ are not subject to the Preventive Controls for Animal Food rule. 
  5. Feed mills that are part of farms (vertically integrated operations) are not covered by the Preventive Controls for Animal Food rule.  
Learn more about key requirements that must be met by covered facilities


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