SILVER SPRING, MD. — On Feb. 2, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its plans to resume all its domestic inspections of all commodities, including pet food, on Feb. 7. The association made this decision due to the decline in COVID-19 cases throughout the United States.

The agency will continue its foreign and domestic mission-critical inspections and plans for additional foreign inspections beginning in April 2022. The agency also plans to continue its remote supplier verification program for both human and animal foods. To maintain safety, the FDA will be providing protection to its inspectors.

The agency originally paused inspections on Dec. 29 in response to the rapid-spreading Omicron variant.

In the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the agency postponed all routine surveillance facility inspections — both domestic and foreign — opting to conduct only mission-critical inspections to keep its employees and plant workers safe. In May 2021, the FDA shared its “Resiliency Roadmap for FDA Inspectional Oversight” plan, which detailed the mission-critical inspections it conducted in 2020 and its plans and priorities moving forward.

For more regulatory news affecting the pet food market, visit our Regulatory page.