Though many people see their pets as members of the family, the U.S. does not regulate pet food as strictly as it does people food. Recent pet food recalls have demonstrated just how Regulations could be tightened, however, if a newly proposed rule by the FDA is put into place.
The FDA today issued a proposed rule to improve the safety of food for animals by preventing foodborne illness from spreading through such products. The rule would require animal food manufacturers to write up a “formal plan” and develop procedures to prevent foodborne illnesses in their products, as well as come up with a plan for dealing with any such situations that arise. In addition, animal food manufacturers would have to follow the FDA’s good manufacturing practices at its facilities. Manufacturers are are not currently required to follow such guidelines, which include facility sanitation provisions.
“The FDA continues to take steps to meet the challenge of ensuring a safe food supply,” said Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the FDA. “Today’s announcement addresses a critical part of the food system, and we will continue to work with our national and international industry, consumer and government partners as we work to prevent foodborne illness.”
The new rule will be open for public comment for four months. The rule was issued under the Food Safety Modernization act to protect not only pets but humans as well, who are susceptible to foodbourne illnesses through the handling of food for animals.