By Meredith Cohn
12:25 PM EDT, October 25, 2013
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed new rules to protect pets, and their owners, from contaminated food.
The Preventive Controls for Food for Animals rule would set new manufacturing standards for people and facilities involved in the production, packing and handling of food for pets and farm animals. The agency said this represents a shift from responding to safety issues to preventing problems. The rules can be found at fda.gov/fsma, and the public can comment.
In a blog post for the FDA, Daniel McChesney, director of the Office of Surveillance and Compliance at FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, pointed to past examples. He cited the 2007 case where the plastic-making chemical melamine was intentionally added to food made in China and killed many pets.
He also pointed to the 2012 recall of 30,000 tons of dry dog and cat food following an outbreak of Salmonella tied to a South Carolina plant. The contaminated food sickened 47 people in 20 states and Canada, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The new rules stem from a 2011 law passed by Congress called the FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act, which called for a more preventive approach. Other rules will tackle prevention of human food contamination.
The rules will also make changes to the nutritional content of animal food to ensure it meets their needs.
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