By Andrew Prest, PhD Microbiology
The health, safety and well-being of pets is a responsibility that most owners take extremely seriously.
Whilst some owners may buy products for their pets which can be of inferior quality due to economic or other factors, the safety of the pet food is a given. Unsafe food is not tolerated and rightly so.
Safety Issues, Like for Humans
As with humans, the vast majority of pet foods on sale today are manufactured at commercial operations which can produce hundreds, if not thousands of packets or cans in a single production batch or production run. As a result, adding incorrect amounts or unsafe ingredients into a batch or using an incorrect processing setting or operating in an unhygienic production environment can be disastrous as not just one pet (which is tragic in itself) but potentially thousands of pets can be exposed, become ill or even die.
As in foods for humans, ensuring the integrity of pet foods must cover the entire production pipeline (‘farm-to-fork approach’).
In addition, Pet food safety represents a substantial challenge over human food safety concerns because microbiologically unsafe pet food can also serve as a vehicle for infectious diseases such as Salmonella which can cause illness in humans through direct or indirect contact.
In New Zealand, where all the manufacturing of Addiction Foods products occurs, stringent controls are in place to ensure that our products are safe for your pet to eat. This is also a legal requirement in New Zealand. All our products are manufactured under an approved Risk Management Program (or ‘RMP’ for short) as part of the Animal Products Act (APA) 1999 which has been in place at Addiction Foods since 2007.
The approval status can be found on the New Zealand Ministry for primary industries website by typing in Addiction Foods in the company section:
Defining an RMP
An RMP is defined as ‘a documented programme designed to identify and control risk factors in relation to the production and processing of certain animal materials and products. This is to ensure that the resulting animal material or product is fit for its intended purpose’.
The RMP is based on the principles of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP).
There are four types of risk factors:
- Risks from hazards to human health;
- Risks from hazards to animal health;
- Risks from false or misleading labelling; and
- Risks to the wholesomeness of animal material or product.
- The first two points are collectively known as “hazards”. The second two are known as “other risk factors”
The scope of our RMP covers all the major risk steps from the supplier approval, collection, formulation, refrigeration, size reduction, drying/reduction of water activity, thermal processing other than in-container retorting/UHT, boning/cutting.
In addition, as Addiction Foods export from New Zealand to the world we must also meet any further requirements set by foreign governments or markets where we sell our product (these are called Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMARs), in the US these are managed by the FDA (Food and Drug Association). These requirements and procedures are documented in our RMP.
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About Dr Prest
Andrew Prest is the Founder and Managing Director of Sustainability Systems. He has extensive theoretical and practical understanding of food manufacturing processes and systems having held senior management positions with major global food and beverage manufacturers for over 20 years supported by a Masters in Food Technology and Quality Assurance and a PhD in Food Microbiology. Andrew has significant experience in auditing and integrated systems management within the Quality, Food Safety, Health & Safety and Environmental Management sphere.