Thursday, November 27, 2014

AFIA publishes energy management guidelines

    In order to assist the feed industry in the conservation of resources, preservation of the environment and reduction of cost in the area of energy management, the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has published an updated "Energy Management Guidance Document." The six-chapter guide was drafted by AFIA's production compliance, equipment manufacturer and integrator committees and covers state regulations, the organization and development of an energy management program, feed industry audits, calculating energy cost and methods for conserving energy.
    The document is designed to help feed manufacturing facilities understand how to develop benchmarks within their companies and offers suggestions for improvement based on the findings. "It does not matter your profession—professional athlete or feed mill operator—the only way to improve your performance is to measure every aspect of your operation and then develop a plan to make improvements based on those results," said Keith Epperson, AFIA vice president of manufacturing and training.
    Key areas the document provides details on are: calculation of electric bills and how to reduce electricity usage in a feed facility; energy audits specific to natural gas consumption, operating temperatures of a boiler, peak demand usage and more; and the proper maintenance of boilers within a mill, especially if operators are pelleting feed or flaking grains. "Our goal is for feed mill operators to welcome this document into their facilities as our members always look to become more energy efficient, environmentally sound and up-to-date with current regulations," said Epperson.

Pets benefit human health, says survey

    A recent survey conducted by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute has found that there are human health benefits to owning a pet. The survey interviewed 1,000 family doctors and general practitioners.
    Ninety-five percent of those surveyed either own or have owned a pet, and 69% have worked in a facility that used pets to assist patient treatment or therapy. Ninety-seven percent said they believe there are health benefits to owning a pet. In addition:
    • 75% of those surveyed said they've seen a patient's overall health or a specific medical condition get moderately or significantly better after the patient adopted a pet.
    • 87% said they've seen a patient's mood or outlook improve as a result of owning a pet. 
    • 84% said they talk to patients about their pets.
    • 60% have recommended that a patient get a pet.
    • 82% said that if medical evidence supported it, they would prescribe a pet for a patient.
    The respondents reported hearing about the health benefits through several sources, including patient stories (64%), personal experience (59%), traditional news media (44%) and medical journals (38%). 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

RECALL: Natura Pet recalls dry cat, ferret food due to vitamin insufficiency

    Natura Pet Products has initiated a limited, voluntary recall of certain dry cat and dry ferret food lots produced in its Fremont, Nebraska facility. Due to a formulation error, these products contain insufficient levels of vitamins and excess minerals.
    There have been no reports of animal health concerns to date, but these lots do not meet established quality standards and should not be consumed by pets, said Natura. No other EVO products or lots are affected by this issue. The affected product and lot codes are:
    EVO Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Formula dry cat & kitten food; 15.4 pounds; UPC 5148 541400
    Exp. 02/19/2016; Lot code 4300A700D2
    EVO Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Formula dry cat & kitten food; 2.2 pounds; UPC 5148 541402
    Exp. 02/20/2016; Lot code 4301A700A4
    EVO Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Formula dry cat & kitten food; 2.2 pounds; UPC 5148 541402
    Exp. 02/20/2016; Lot code 4301A700B4
    EVO Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Formula dry cat & kitten food; 2.2 pounds; UPC 5148 541402
    Exp. 02/20/2016; Lot code 4301A700C4
    EVO Grain Free Ferret Food; 6.6 pounds; UPC 5148 542101
    Exp. 02/19/2016; Lot code 4300A700D3
    The problem was discovered during the investigation of an ingredient inventory discrepancy. Only the above five lots are affected. These lots were distributed through independent retailers in CA, GA, MI, MN, NV, PA, TX, VT and Canada, as well as online.
    Retailers have been contacted and are instructed to immediately withdraw these lots from store shelves. Consumers who purchased the product should discontinue feeding the product immediately and discard as normal household waste. Natura said it is taking immediate corrective action as a result of its investigation.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

PMMI 'Pack Gives Back' raises money for K9s for Warriors

    The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies' (PMMI) "Pack Gives Back" event at Pack Expo International and Pharma Expo 2014 raised over US$34,000 for K9s for Warriors, a charitable organization dedicated to providing service dogs to military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress as a result of their service since 9/11. The Nov. 3 event, open only to Pack Expo and Pharma Expo registrants, featured former Tonight Show host and comedian Jay Leno.
    Leno entertained a sold-out crowd of 1,900, and funds raised included a portion of ticket sales and supplemental donations collected online and on site at Pack Expo. The program includes three weeks’ training for the canine/warrior teams at the K9s for Warriors facility in Ponte Vedra, Florida. Over 90% of the partnered dogs are obtained through rescue groups.
    “We’re always happy to support those that have fought for our country,” said Charles D. Yuska, president and CEO of PMMI. “Our service men and women have given so much for us. It’s a pleasure to be able to give something back to them.” A link for donations will be active through November 2014 at, and donations are always accepted at

Freshpet raises US$156 million in initial public offering

    Freshpet Inc., a US-based maker of premium petfood for cats and dogs, raised about US$156 million in its initial public offering after its IPO was priced at US$15 per share, above the expected price range of US$12–$14.
    The company sold 10.4 million shares. At the IPO price, the company was valued at US$477 million, based on outstanding common stock of about 31.8 million, according to reports. The company counts private equity firm MidOcean Partners LP and Tyson Foods Inc. among its investors.
    Freshpet is expected to debut on the Nasdaq on Friday under the symbol "FRPT."

Monday, November 24, 2014

Morris Animal Foundation undertakes Golden Retriever Lifetime Study

    Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is the largest and longest effort ever undertaken to improve the health of dogs, according to the group. Over the next 10 to 14 years, observational data collected from 3,000 Golden Retrievers will help the foundation learn how to prevent cancer and other diseases that take the lives of dogs.
    More than 70 million dogs live in the US, and half of them over the age of 10 will die of cancer, says Morris. In addition, cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of two. "We must stop this disease," says the foundation, which is encouraging Golden Retriever owners to enroll their pets in the study.
    The study is part of the foundation's Canine Lifetime Health Project, a US-wide effort to make the world a better place for dogs. Through this initiative, Morris manages studies that will help identify new tests, diets and therapies for preventing, diagnosing and treating health problems in dogs. The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is the first, and is the largest and longest study ever conducted in veterinary medicine, according to Morris.
    Morris Animal Foundation is a nonprofit organization that invests in science that advances veterinary medicine for companion animals, horses and wildlife. The foundation is a global leader in animal health science, and its funding helps more species in more places than that of any other organization in the world, says Morris. 

Eurofins acquires SF Analytical Labs

    Eurofins Scientific, a global leader in analytical support to the global food market, has announced the pending acquisition of SF Analytical (SFA) Laboratories. The transaction will close at the end of November 2014.
    The acquisition will strengthen Eurofins’ growing presence in the US, as well as expand the current base of operations in the Midwestern US. “We’re excited about becoming part of the global services of Eurofins, adding Wisconsin and the Upper Great Lakes Region to the multiple services offered,” said David Kliber, president of SFA Labs. “We will retain the 114-year-old Wisconsin brand which will now be called ‘Eurofins SF Analytical’ and our established relationships and recognition will be seamless to clients and the community. People will still work with our employees as they have for decades in New Berlin and the Milwaukee area. At the same time, the lab will now be able to serve more clients with greatly expanded capabilities on a regional and national level as part of the Eurofins network of laboratories in the US.”
    The acquisition by Eurofins will allow Kliber and his staff to offer the full range of services available from Eurofins’ group of global laboratories. Eurofins says it is committed to providing the best laboratory services and client support to its customers and is dedicated to consistently delivering the highest level of analytical testing technology available in the industry.