AFIA issues guide to biosecurity awareness

by Chrystal Shannon
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The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has published a "Guide to Biosecurity Awareness" as a tool toward strengthening a company’s overall feed/food safety plans. AFIA said the guide is not intended as an operational manual and is not a substitute for good manufacturing practices. The association suggests that employee training meetings could be conducted using the guide and the related PowerPoint presentation, available at

Information in the four-page guide is presented by topic and may be summarized as follows:

Threats to biosecurity. Generally, feed and feed ingredients may become adulterated by the following means: biological, chemical, radiological and physical. Any biosecurity program should anticipate attempts to introduce these agents into the animal feed production and distribution process.

Facility security. Ensuring the physical security of buildings and grounds is an important step in overall biosecurity. This may include security lighting, perimeter fencing and controlled gate access and possibly an off-hours security guard. Electronic security devices and appropriate locks are listed with other means of controlling access.

Visitor policy. All visitors should check in with a designated company representative. This procedure protects against unwanted visitors and helps account for all persons during an emergency.

Ingredient integrity. An important component in feed biosecurity is ensuring that all feed ingredients are safe. Sourcing, labeling, sampling, transportation, inspection and recordkeeping steps are recommended.

Product integrity. Protect the integrity of products during production and while being prepared for shipment. Sample products and inspect them for known characteristics. Generate records sufficient to allow traceability of ingredients through production.

Distribution. Certain precautions should be implemented to further protect product integrity and ensure safe delivery to customers. This involves careful inspection and recordkeeping and simple measures such as the verification that all customer pick-up drivers are actually representatives of the customer. A bio-sanitation program to prevent the spread of disease from farm-to-farm should also be implemented.

Product recall. Every company should have a comprehensive and tested recall program that is specific to its operations and products.

Housekeeping. A written housekeeping program should be implemented for all areas of the facility, including grounds. A written pesticide and rodenticide program should also be implemented.

Employee selection and training. Biosecurity awareness should be instilled in all employees, starting with top management. Everyone must vigilantly monitor the activities of visitors, customers, service providers and fellow employees.

Emergency response. During the initial stages of an emergency, some circumstances are difficult to control. Prepare and train all personnel to adequately respond to a crisis as calmly and safely as possible.

The Biosecurity Awareness Guide was produced with the participation of the Animal Health Institute (AHI); the Center of Veterinary Medicine (CVM)/Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and the National Renderers Association (NRA). For copies of the guide, contact Richard Sellers by e-mail at The guide also can be downloaded from the AFIA’s web site at