ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. — The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) announced on July 12 that Eurofins Scientific Inc. (ESI), an independent third-party auditor, has issued the first three Pet Food Manufacturing Facility Certification Program certificates. This voluntary, third-party facility certification program is designed specifically for companies manufacturing pet food or pet food ingredients. The Pet Food Manufacturing Facility Certification Program (PFMFCP) and the Pet Food Ingredient Facility Certification Program (PFIFCP) were developed by AFIA’s pet food and quality committees with input from third-party food safety experts.

These two certification programs build upon AFIA’s domestic Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program which was launched in 2004 for the feed industry. The new programs are designed to monitor the process controls specifically related to the manufacturing of pet food and should meet and in some parts exceed the anticipated requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act. AFIA is seeking FDA recognition of these programs and encourages FDA to use these programs in their risk assessment of the industry for inspection priorities.

“AFIA sees these programs as a model for the entire pet food industry,” said Joel G. Newman, AFIA’s president and chief executive officer. “The third-party audit follows principles laid out in both the FDA’s current Good Manufacturing Practices as well as the basic principles of HACCP.”

The first Pet Food Manufacturing Facility Certification Program certificates have been issued and granted to The Nutro Company’s Kansas City, Missouri, U.S., Victorville, California, U.S., and Lebanon, Tennessee, U.S. facilities by ESI.

Jan Aretz, vice-president of research and development for The Nutro Company, said, “In our quest to make a better world for pets through the power of natural nutrition, consistently delivering safe NUTRO and GREENIES products of the highest quality is our mission. A rigorous internal quality and food safety program is vital, but we also recognize the importance of external food safety audits like the AFIA PFMFCP program. This type of independent program, specifically designed for pet food facilities, is what our industry needs to consistently raise the bar on food safety and to ensure the food in all our pets’ bowls is safe. Everyone at The Nutro Company is very proud to receive the first PFMFCP certificate.”