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New Rules Aim for Safer Pet Food

Sanitary pet food-making facilities and plans for preventing foodborne illness: Up until now, those have been voluntary.

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dog eating dog food
Photo: Getty Images

By Dan Shapley

Consumers purchasing pet food have probably assumed that there is some oversight of pet food makers to ensure that the food we dump in our cat and dog dishes every day was produced in clean facilities and is free of disease-causing bacteria or other pathogens.

Not so.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week issued the first-ever rules designed to require pet food manufacturers to follow best practices for maintaining sanitary facilities and reducing the risk of contamination with foodborne pathogens, and to develop plans and procedures to prevent foodborne illness.

In addition to protecting pets, these steps should protect pet owners, who can be at risk from handling contaminated pet food and treats.

The rule is in a draft form, and the public can comment on it for about three months. For information, visit this FDA web page.


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