WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pet Food Institute (PFI) provided comments May 10 to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) on the agency’s Industry Response to Consumer Complaints Guidance, published in the Federal Register on March 11. The FSIS guidance communicates best practices for meat and poultry producers to implement and follow when responding to consumer complaints.

In the public comments submitted by PFI, the association commends FSIS for issuing the recent guidance and urges FSIS to “set the same expectation in applying these principles to the material that is intended for use in pet food.”

PFI addressed the need to prevent adulterated human food material from being diverted for use in pet foods, stating, “FSIS Guidance should not allow or condone downgraded human food material that presents a health or safety risk due to foreign material inclusion to be diverted to a by-product stream for use in pet food. Implementing these practices across both human and animal food ingredients will offer a significant improvement throughout the entire supply chain, benefiting both people and pets.”

PFI concluded by encouraging a clear explanation of the role played by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in regulating animal food, specifically calling on the FSIS to point out to meat and poultry producers that human food byproducts supplied to pet food producers are subject to FDA regulation under FSMA once that material leaves the meat and poultry producers’ facilities.

Read the full commentary published by Pet Food Institute.

The guidance issued by FSIS includes best practices for controlling Listeria monocytogenes in deli products and at the retail level, as well as links between undercooked chicken liver and outbreaks of Campylobacter and Salmonella.

Stay up to date on news about the pet food processing industry on our News page.