Why Should Pet Food Manufacturers Get a Third-Party Audit?
Pet food and treat manufacturers have a legal and moral obligation to implement and maintain food safety best practices to ensure that our furry friends are provided with only the safest and highest quality products. One way to verify that your organization meets these obligations is by obtaining a third-party audit from an accredited pet food safety certifying body, like ASI.
There are four different types of food safety standards available for pet food products:
- ISO 22000
- GFSI Benchmarked Schemes (i.e., SQF, FSSC 22000, BRC)
- American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) /SF Certification
- Private GMP Standards (i.e., ASI, AIB).
It’s important to be aware of these standards since it’s becoming more common for retailers to require certification or a pet food audit. Where retailers have typically put their focus on ensuring human food products are safe, they are now shifting gears to get pet food products held to the same standards as human food products.
SQF Certification for Pet Food Manufacturing
Large retailers like Walmart require their private label pet treat manufacturers to not only obtain a GFSI-recognized certification, but also require them to ensure that “the entire supply chain from farm to final facility” receives and maintains a GFSI-recognized certification for pet food manufacturing. This means that pet treat manufacturers producing pet treats under Walmart’s private label must obtain certification. This includes all of the manufacturer’s suppliers of raw materials.
cGMP Audit for Pet Food Manufacturing
PetSmart also requires all suppliers producing products to “agree to comply with PetSmart’s Product Quality and Compliance manual which includes meeting applicable regulations, product testing and manufacturing consistent with current good manufacturing practices (cGMP).”
We can see just from these couple of examples from large global retailers that not being certified to a recognized food safety standard can hinder the growth of your organization by not giving your company access to new markets.
Pet Food Manufacturing Certification has been proven time and time again to have many benefits, ranging from improved product safety, quality, and consistency and increased consumer confidence to reduced waste and costs. These benefits by far outweigh the costs of a pet food audit or implementing a certified pet food safety management system.