FDA has buckled down on plans to enforce regulations for pet food manufacturers before food hits the markets to keep pets safe. Sicknesses caused by jerky treats has killed close to 580 dogs as well as some cats starting January, and most of these treats are coming from China. FDA has not identified the origin of poisoning even though several brands have been suspected, so a recall has not been mandated, but for the first time companies must follow strict guidelines before selling food to pets.
FDA had put forth regulations three years ago. Similar to regulatory laws initiated in previous months for human food, they would focus on avoiding infection before it ever starts.
Daniel McChesney, director surveillance and compliance office of FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine said, “We have been pushing feed safety for a number of years,” but pet food suppliers have not completely complied to safety regulations.
During 120 days,the public can give feedback to FDA planned regulations for pet food safety, and then the plans will be considered legal 60 days beyond the comment duration.
The planned regulations require specific hygiene habits and have laid out guidelines to keep pets safe. Each supplier will have to develop procedures to keep pet food from infections of any kind.
As FDA regulates pet food safety protocols, safety protection for pet owners will be stronger. Handling poisonous pet food can sicken people.
The FDA intends to challenge pet food producers to strive for higher standards and to be more accountable. FDA suggests companies record detailed notes of food producers hygiene processes, and obtain food samples and ensure that safety audits are performed regularly. If pet food makers do not improve safety practices, the FDA will reserve the right to stop production and sales.
These regulations apply to American and foreign manufactured animal food of all kinds and all single items listed on food labels.
FDA plans to regulate food more carefully to keep both pets and humans safe from infectious diseases of any kind. Even though investigators have evaluated more than 1,200 pieces and have visited dozens of production sites, the FDA remains in the dark about what is killing dogs in various types of jerky treats.
Veterinarian Dr. Richard Besser reported that “FDA has searched for all kinds of possible causes from bacteria to pesticides to metals to toxins and has not found anything so it remains a big mystery.”
The FDA is asking all Veterinarians to call if any evidence emerges on what could be killing dogs from jerky coming mainly through China and warns people who are concerned to watch their dog or cat closely especially if they suspect exposure to any poisoned jerky.
The FDA is not instructing people to stay away from dog treats, but the obvious choice to keep your pets safe is to eliminate treats unnecessary for balanced diets.
Consumer protests came into FDA headquarters in Jan. 2007 about the unsafe pet food, FDA Spokesperson Shelly Burgess said.
Yet the complaints are still coming in to the FDA, and the mystery remains unsolved.
The FDA requests veterinarians and pet owners with pets who get sick after eating a jerky treat to notify the agency, and to keep pieces of suspicious pet treats to give to doctors.
FDA has buckled down on plans to enforce regulations for pet food manufacturers before food hits the markets to keep pets safe.
Written By: Danelle Cheney