The proposed “rule” is designed to implement a congressional mandate to focus on preventing food safety problems, such as contamination by disease-causing bacteria, instead of just responding to problems after they occur.
“FDA is taking this action to provide greater assurance that animal food is safe and will not cause illness or injury to animals or humans,” the document says.
The 405-page proposal would require manufacturers of food for pets and livestock to implement procedures to reduce likely hazards. The companies would have to write plans that identify hazards, specify the steps they will put in place to minimize or prevent those hazards, identify monitoring procedures and record monitoring results, and specify what actions they would take to fix problems that arise. Their buildings and employees would have to comply with “good manufacturing practices” for cleaning, maintenance, pest control and personal hygiene.
The public will have about four months to submit written comments on the proposal. The FDA will review those comments before issuing final regulations. In addition, the agency plans to hold three public meetings to explain the proposal and receive more input. The first meeting is scheduled for Nov. 21 in College Park, Md.
To view the proposal, click here.