Thursday, March 5, 2015

AFIA’s Safe Feed/Safe Food program updated to comply with FSMA

    The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has updated the requirements of its FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program to support the new requirements outlined in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) as well as help drive continuous improvement within a location's quality and feed safety program.
    The updated requirements are listed as the FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food Guidance Document on the Safe Feed/Safe Food website and will take effect beginning March 1.
    The goals of the updated document are to assist facilities with designing, developing, implementing and maintaining a quality and feed safety program that complies with the desired requirements and to assist auditors with auditing locations seeking certification for FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food. The guidance offers numerous examples to assist facilities with preparation for compliance of the requirements.
    "The new guidance document provides a 'user-friendly' FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food certification," said Henry Turlington, AFIA director of quality and manufacturing regulatory affairs. "The new requirements improve the certification process that drives continuous improvement of a company's quality and food safety program. FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food certification is tool AFIA recommends because it supports compliance with FSMA."
    The requirements for FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food certification include Current Good Manufacturing Practices for animal feed production as well as the requirements for an effective animal food safety program. FSC36 requirements support a risk-based management system that is documented and implemented by a facility (supplier) of feed or feed-related products to control animal food safety.
    "The changes to the requirements to obtain FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food are minimal; however, the process for completing the certification has been streamlined to create a more user-friendly program," Turlington said.
    "The number of elements has been reduced from 230-plus elements to 77 elements to allow auditors to spend more time reviewing documentation and manufacturing processes," he said. "And, FSC36 will now be a 'Continuous Improvement' program versus a 'Compliant' program."
    Previously, facilities were required to comply with each element in order to obtain certification. The new process will allow the auditor to assess the effort and progress by a facility to comply with the FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food Guidance Document. The facility will be scored based on these efforts. The assessment process will provide the facility with better direction for continuous improvement and compliance with FSMA. The continuous improvement process is consistent with the FSC32 and FSC34 programs. This also allows AFIA to take advantage of the Safe Quality Food Institute tools more effectively.
    "Another change to the program is the 'self-audit' is being replaced by a 'surveillance audit' (or remote audit) that will be completed by the certifying body (CB). The surveillance audit is an abbreviated version of the on-site audit and covers 'mandatory' elements," said Turlington. "The process and the quality of the audit will be greatly improved as the CB is more involved with the assessment and the facility provides supporting evidence only, and an on-site audit will continue to be completed every two years."
    Safe Feed/Safe Food launched in 2004, with the first facilities obtaining certification the next year. Since the beginning of the Safe Feed/Safe Food program, the number of certifications has expanded to four options. FSC36 is the most popular certification and is considered the core offering of the program. In 2013, AFIA partnered with SQFI to administer the Safe Feed/Safe Food program.

Woof Gang Bakery to open corporate stores in Savannah, Key West

    Woof Gang Bakery is opening its first corporate-owned stores, with five locations open by summer 2015. These five new corporate stores will join 20 new franchise locations opening this year. The corporate stores located in Savannah, Georgia, USA, and Key West, Florida, USA, will serve as support centers for franchises in those regions.
    The first corporate store will open in March in Savannah’s historic downtown City Market. The second corporate store opening in Savannah will be a Woof Gang Bakery, Grooming & Wellness Center in the city’s downtown. In addition to pet supplies and grooming, this location will include a pet wellness center offering vaccinations, dental cleaning and other pet wellness services.
    A third Savannah location and two Key West corporate stores also will open by summer of 2015. The Woof Gang Bakery store on the famous Duval Street in Key West will officially be the southernmost pet store in the United States.
    “We’re thrilled to be positioned to grow the Woof Gang Bakery infrastructure by adding corporate stores to the portfolio. With a total of 75 franchise locations open by year end, this enables us to provide a higher level of support across all markets,” said Paul Allen, CEO of Woof Gang Bakery. “Our growth plan also includes hiring more than 20 new corporate employees and opening an 8,500-square-foot franchise support facility in Orlando, Florida this summer.”
    Each Woof Gang Bakery corporate location will be unique to the market it serves. City Market Savannah and Duval Street Key West will be Woof Gang Private Label stores, primarily selling the Woof Gang product line. Specialty items and signature products, customized and branded for each location also will be offered.
    The three additional corporate locations will be full-service stores, providing a full range of pet care goods and services – one-stop shops offering food, treats, supplies and grooming.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

5 tips to keep your pets safe amid petfood recalls

    Hound & Gatos Pet Foods Corp. has tips for pet owners to keep their pets safe and healthy amid petfood recalls.
    “Most people are caring pet owners, and they want to what helps protect their pet,” said Will Post, founder and CEO, Hound & Gatos. “Yet the problem is that most are not sure what that means and how to go about it. The more they learn about petfood, the better able they will be able to make an informed decision that will keep their pet healthier and safer.”
    Petfood recalls have become commonplace, with foods being recalled for Salmonella or Listeria contamination, presence of foreign materials, or other issues. Here are several tips that consumers may want to keep in mind when it comes to choosing a petfood that will help reduce the risks:
    • Get to know the company. Most people may know a company name simply because they spend millions on advertising. But that doesn’t mean they know much about the company or their ethics. Research companies to find one that offers high standards, quality products, and great customer service. Then stick with that company for the long haul.
    • Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to contact a petfood company and ask them where something was made, where ingredients came from, or any other questions. They should have no problem answering questions about their products, or with being able to provide proof of their quality standards.
    • Read reviews. Do some searches to read some reviews about various brands of petfood. Keep in mind that some reviews can be biased and even planted by the company itself, so look for impartial third-party sources giving the review. Also, ask around to see what friends and family feed their pets.
    • Investigate ingredients. The source of ingredients is of major concern when it comes to reducing the risks of petfood recalls and with keeping pets healthy. Many of the petfoods recalled contain ingredients that came from Asia, rather than all being 100 percent originating in the USA. Read the labels and ask questions to determine where the ingredients are coming from, and then opt for only products that are completely originating from the USA. For example, the FDA just approved chicken from China. Only three percent of petfoods get inspected, leaving a big window for risks.
    • Understand petfoods. Cat and dog food should contain 100 percent protein, which will supply pets with the nutrients their bodies require. The problem with many commercial petfoods is that it is comprised of numerous fillers, such as generic liver, cheap fillers and grains.
    “In order to keep pets safer and healthier, you can’t just pull any food off the shelf at the store,” Post said. “Many have generic ingredients and fillers that cats and dogs should not be eating. Get to know petfoods and the companies that manufacture it, and then stick with one that has a high level of standards and is ethical.”

HealthyPets buys new property in California

    HealthyPets Inc. has acquired a 70,000-square-foot building in Newark, California, USA.
    The company, which was founded in 1997, has increased its inventory by 25% in the past six months and its Web traffic by 30% in 2015, according to a report. HealthyPets operates HealthyPets.com and EntirelyPets.com.
    HealthyPets owns two other buildings in Union City, California, USA. The new building in Newark reportedly includes office space and “flex” space for warehouse and manufacturing. The purchase price for the new property was reported at more than US$10 million.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

United Pet Group to close Cincinnati headquarters

    United Pet Group plans to close its global headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, according to a report.
    Spectrum Brands Inc., which owns United Pet Group, is planning the move to consolidate the pet products division with its home and garden division in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
    United Pet Group makes products including Dingo rawhide dog treats, Nature’s Miracle stain and odor remover, Furminator de-shedding brushes for dogs and cats, and Tetra fish tanks and other water-related products.

Betagro Group to build new plant in Thailand

    Betagro Group says it plans to build a THB1 billion (US$308,000) petfood factory in Lop Buri province, Thailand.
    Construction on the facility is expected to begin in 2015 and be ready to operate in early 2016.
    In the first phase, the factory will have monthly production capacity of 4,000 tonnes.
    The petfood produced at the factory will be exported to pet farms, pet shops, veterinarian clinics and trade outlets in Asia and Europe, according to a report. The products will be distributed under the Dog’n Joy, Cat’n Joy, Perfecta and Bingo brands.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Fire damages UK Nestle Purina factory

    Nestle Purina factory in Sudbury, Suffolk, UK, was damaged in a fire on February 15, 2015. Fifty workers were inside at the time, but no one was injured, according to reports. The fire affected three of the building’s five levels.
    The fire involved four 30,000-liter tanks of animal fat, and there was concern that the blaze could spread to another 30,000-liter tank of phosphoric acid nearby.
    “The fire had the potential in the early stages to affect the whole factory,” said Carl Francis, area commander for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, in a report. “It started in the tank farm where there is raw soya and animal fat product. Four of the eight tanks were affected but not a tank which had the acid.
    “The fire did then break into the building. It is a large commercial building and we were aware that the fire involved flammable product, an oil-based product and pockets of fire were elsewhere in the building.”
    Two volunteer firefighters, who also work at the plant, are credited with largely helping to control the fire.
    “Their early action saved the fire from developing throughout the building because of their knowledge of the site,” Francis said. “They were able to tell us how to get into and around the building. Within a couple of hours, we were quite confident that we had dealt with the fire and contained it and it was not going to developer further.”
    The factory will be closed February 16 while the fire is investigated.
    The factory produces petfood brands like Bakers, Winalot, Felix, Bonio and Go-Cat.