Purina Pet Food canning facility has received a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to major variations from established regulations. Recalls have not been issued but it appears the FDA has serious concerns about the manner this facility is handling processing pet food. After investigation it was found that the facility had major discrepancies or deviations from the low-acid can food regulations.
The FDA is one of the USA’s federal executive departments and is directly connected to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. This agency is responsible for promoting and protecting public health through the supervision and regulation of food safety, dietary supplements, tobacco products, vaccines, pharmaceutical drugs, bio-pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, electromagnetic radiation emitting devices, medical devices, veterinary products and animal foods and feed.
The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act mandates that animal foods, just as human foods, are produced under sanitary conditions, truthfully labeled, contain no harmful substances and are safe to eat. In other words, every can of pet food is regulated by the FDA. Part of this regulation states that canned pet foods must be processed in conformance with the low-acid regulations relative to canned food in order to ensure the food is free of viable microorganisms as stated under Part 113 of the Federal Regulations Title 21 Code.
The FDA’s inspection found the Purina plant did not adhere to the required processing of pet food and as required by law failed to document the deviation. The letter of warning stated:
Your firm did not provide documentation associated with the evaluation of the entire lot of product affected by the process deviation. Also no documentation and/or specifics of your corrective action plan were noted in order to ensure that your firm will prevent these occurrences in the future.
The law also requires canned pet food be heated to a certain temperature and any deviations must be documented. The investigation found concerns associated with the temperature drop when manufacturing pet food at the facility. The temperature deviations were not documented in the required log.
The agency also found the conveyor system in the Purina facility did not have “adequate protection in place to prevent an unprocessed can” from reaching the consumer. When can food is unprocessed it means the food is uncooked. An uncooked can of feed grade ingredients indicates the potential to be full of dangerous bacteria. Although Purina told the FDA they are in the process of correcting the issue, they did not provide specifics rendering their response insufficient. The FDA stated:
We do not consider this response acceptable because you did not provide specifics of your corrective action plan in order to ensure that your firm will prevent these occurrences in the future.
The warning letter to Purina from the FDA which is posted on the Food and Drug Administration’s website does not clarify lot numbers of the products involved only the names. All of the products in question are canned wet foods. The list of names for the products which raised concern can be found on the warning letter from the Federal Drug and Administration listed below under sources.
If anyone is feeding their pets anyone of these products they are being warned to pay close attention to the health of their pet. If any illnesses occur, after notifying the veterinarian, they should contact the FDA to file a report. No recalls have officially been made for products manufactured at the Purina Pet Food plant but on January 2, 2015 the FDA issued a warning letter to the canning facility after their investigation found major variations from the established regulations.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)