Thursday, October 23, 2014

TAMU presents 25th annual practical short course on feeds, petfood extrusion

    A one week practical short course on feeds and petfood extrusion will be presented Feb. 1–6, 2015, at Texas A&M University by staff, industry representatives and consultants.
    The program will cover information on designing new feed mills and selecting conveying, drying, grinding, conditioning and feed mixing equipment. Current practices for production of petfoods; preparing full-fat soy meal; recycling fisheries by-products, raw animal products and secondary resources; extrusion of floating, sinking and high fat feeds; spraying and coating fats, digests and preservatives; use of encapsulated ingredients and preparation of premixes; and least cost formulation will be reviewed. Practical demonstrations of petfood, vacuum coating and several other processes will be demonstrated on four major types of extruders (dry, interrupted flights, single and twin screw), using various shaping dies.
    Reservations are accepted on a first-come basis. For more information, programs and application forms, contact Mian N. Riaz, PhD, head of TAMU's extrusion technology program (

FDA official discusses FSMA petfood safety supplemental proposed rule

    During the 2014 Feed and Pet Food Joint Conference, October 7-9 in Omaha, Nebraska, USA, Daniel McChesney, PhD, director of the office of surveillance and compliance for the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine, highlighted key revisions to the preventive control rule for petfood and feed under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
    McChesney said FDA received more than 2,100 comments to the original proposed animal feed preventive control rule released in October 2013, including many from consumers. Industry organizations, such as the Pet Food Institute and National Grain and Feed Association (co-organizers of the Feed and Pet Food Joint Conference), along with the American Feed Industry Association, also offered in-depth feedback on the original rule.
    With the re-proposed rule, which FDA released September 29, 2014, and McChesney referred to as the supplemental proposed rule, the agency is only asking for comments on new or revised areas, though it will accept comments on other areas. FDA is accepting comments for 75 days from the release date.
    The major revisions included in the supplemental rule, McChesney said, include:
    • A “very small business,” which would be exempt from complying to some elements of the rule, is now defined as having less than US$2.5 million in total annual sales of animal food, adjusted for inflation. McChesney commented that 98% of the animal food (including petfood) industry in the US would be covered outside this exclusion. However, he also said FDA is seeking comments on whether dollar sales are the best measure for feed and petfood. Would units of sale, for example, be better?
    • Current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs), which were a big area and focus of comments received, McChesney said; feedback to the original proposed rule said it made CGMPs too prescriptive, too similar to ones for human food and too stringent to be prerequisites because of the diversity of animal food facilities. In response, FDA modified that section of the rule, keeping the structure of human food CGMPs but rewriting the ones for animal food to be less prescriptive. McChesney said he thinks they're much closer to being appropriate for animal food but FDA is still looking for comments.
    • Under hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) plans, comments to the original proposed rule expressed concern with use of the word “known” in terms of identifying hazards, because that might have led to food facilities needing to control every single conceivable hazard out there. While McChesney said that was never FDA’s intent, the agency did change the wording in the supplemental proposed rule to “significant hazards,” also replacing the wording “reasonably likely to occur.”
    McChesney commented that in written food safety plans, which FSMA will require of every facility but very small businesses, manufacturers will need to define hazards they are controlling—and how—outside of CGMPs. So, if a facility has comprehensive CGMPs, it might have a very narrowly focused, short safety plan.
    With supplier verification, comments to the original proposed rule agreed it's a good idea but didn't like how FDA proposed doing it. So, McChesney said, FDA looked at the foreign supplier verification rule under FSMA and how that might apply to domestic suppliers. In the supplemental proposed rule, FDA is providing flexibility for each facility to determine appropriate verification activities of its suppliers. However, it will likely require an annual audit of significant hazards; unless you're controlling that hazard at your facility, you should verify your supplier is controlling it.
    Finally, in response to a question about how FDA inspectors will be trained to enforce FSMA rules, McChesney said that at least initially, inspectors will be looking mainly to see that facilities and their personnel understand the rules and how their company is following them; they would not be looking to write tickets for noncompliance. In other words, initial visits will be focused on education, not compliance.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mars Petcare, Qualipet recognized at International Pet Conference

    A special prize for outstanding service to the pet industry was presented to Mars Petcare Germany, and "PET Personality of the Year 2014" went to founder and CEO of Qualipet Rolf Boffa. Both awards were presented by the specialist magazine PET worldwide at the International Pet Conference in Berlin, Germany.
    Mars Petcare Germany has advocated the promotion of responsible pet ownership for over 50 years. Although in the early years the emphasis was more on providing information about the use and advantages of industrially manufactured petfood, the company has, since then, significantly contributed to greatly improving the relationship between humans and animals. This has not been just a result of advertising campaigns, but also due to research projects and through the support given to non-profit associations.
    Qualipet AG, founded by Rolf Boffa, has been market leader in the Swiss pet retail trade for over 25 years. Today the company operates almost 90 pet retail stores in Switzerland, an online shop, a mail order company and a publishing group, the nucleus of the company. Thanks to Rolf Boffa’s tireless efforts and wealth of ideas, the quality of Qualipets’ specialist stores has constantly improved.
    More than 150 visitors from 18 countries attended the conference.

Interzoo posts exhibition film from 2014 show

    Interzoo has posted an exhibition video from its 2014 show, highlighting the atmosphere and international flair of the show, say organizers.
    The show was "once again the mega event for innovations, trends and product premieres," and satisfied both visitors and exhibitors, according to Interzoo planners.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Merrick kicks off 'Merrick Mealtime Mayhem' Facebook contest

    Merrick has kicked off its "Merrick Mealtime Mayhem" Facebook contest, which encourages pet parents to share video and photos of their dogs "going wild" for the taste of all-natural Merrick. The grand-prize winner will receive a two-year supply of Merrick, according to the company.
    To learn more about and enter the contest, check out Merrick's Facebook page. Tag entries with #DogsLoveMerrick.

Farm Food wins National Business Success Award for petfood

    Dutch dog food manufacturer Farm Food has received the National Business Success Award in the petfood category.
    The award is given each year to a company in the Netherlands that stands out in its respective industry on account of exceptional quality. In making the award, the jury cited the company's high quality standards and its decision not to use any chemical additives in its products.

Monday, October 20, 2014, Rescue Bank merge is bringing Rescue Bank into its family, a merger that will deepen the organization's positive impact on the lives of shelter pets, says GreaterGood.
    "We've worked closely with since our national expansion almost four years ago," says Elizabeth Asher, who continues to serve as executive director of Rescue Bank. "We are excited about the impact our combined programs will have on improving nutrition for rescued pets and making veterinary care and adoption program support more accessible. GreaterGood shares our commitment to improving the standards of care throughout the rescue and shelter community."
    GreaterGood says they are thrilled to be more closely integrated with Rescue Bank. "They are a tremendously impactful organization whose dedication to serving rescue groups and the animal welfare community as a whole is as inventive as it is compassionate," says Executive Director Liz Baker. "This merger allows us to expand our role in the animal welfare community and deepens our commitment to caring for shelter pets across the country."