How to Ensure Your Products Meet Pet Food Quality and Safety Requirements
In the United States, we consider our pets a major part of our families. As a result, pet food is one of the most highly regulated of all food products in the country and it must meet both federal and state requirements to get to the shelves.
If you're a pet food ingredient manufacturer, it's important to be up-to-date on the latest safety requirements. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) are two organizations that have a hand in setting these standards. Let's dive into exactly what the USDA and AAFCO do to ensure pet food safety, as well as what specific requirements your product and ingredients need to meet.
What Are the USDA Pet Food Requirements?
The USDA is responsible for regulating pet food that contains meat, poultry, or rice. This includes ensuring that the food is safe to eat, properly labeled, and made from ingredients of the highest quality. To do this, the USDA has a team of inspectors who visit pet food manufacturing facilities. They check to make sure that the facilities are clean and that the pet food is being made according to federal regulations. They also work with the FDA to ban pet food products that don't meet these standards.
What are the AAFCO Pet Food Ingredient Requirements?
The AAFCO, on the other hand, sets guidelines for all pet food products, not just those that contain meat or poultry. They create standards for things like crude protein and fat content, as well as minimum requirements for certain vitamins and minerals. All pet food manufacturers must follow these guidelines in order to sell their products.
When it comes to safety, both the USDA and AAFCO are focused on ensuring that harmful contaminants don't make their way into pet food. The USDA tests products for things like salmonella, while the AAFCO looks at things like crude protein levels. Meeting these safety requirements is essential if you want to provide quality pet food to your customers.
What Do Pet Food Manufacturers Need to Do?
So, what does this mean for you? Make sure your pet food meets the USDA's quality standards and is compliant with AAFCO's guidelines. This will help ensure that your customers are getting a safe and nutritious product.
The USDA and AAFCO are important organizations when it comes to pet food safety. Make sure your products meet their guidelines to ensure a safe product for your customers. You can do this by partnering with a reputable pet food ingredient sourcing company that is up to date on these regulations.
Providing the Best Ingredients for Man's Best Friend
At North Central Companies, we strongly believe that your pets should be as well-fed as any other member of the family. That's why we're fully committed to assisting pet food manufacturers in sourcing the most wholesome, up to standard ingredients at the best price points. Contact us today to find the right ingredients for your product.