On October 29, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a proposed rule under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) aimed at strengthening the safety of food for animals, including pet food and animal feed. At the time, the FDA indicated it would hold three public meetings to discuss the rule and generate comments from stakeholders.

This week the FDA posted the agendas and additional details about the public meetings, which will take place in College Park, Maryland, on November 21, Chicago on November 25 and Sacramento, California on December 6.

This proposed rule intends to ensure the safety of food for animals, as well as help prevent foodborne illness in humans and animals. It is part of the effort mandated by Congress to modernize the food safety system and focuses on preventing food safety problems, rather than relying primarily on responding to problems after they occur.

Under the proposed rule for preventive controls for food for animals, facilities manufacturing, processing, packing, and holding animal food, both domestically and abroad, would be required to put into place procedures to minimize or prevent hazards reasonably likely to occur, as well as to follow new current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs).

This proposed rule would apply primarily to facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold animal food and are required to register as a food facility under section 415 of the FD&C Act. This rule does not apply to farms that manufacture food for their own animals or other food facilities not required to register under section 415 of the FD&C Act.

The proposed rule for preventive controls for food for animals was published in the Federal Register on October 29, 2013. Comments on this proposed rule are due by 120 days from the publication date.

View the agendas for the College Park, Chicago and Sacramento public meetings. More information and instructions for submitting comments are available on the FDA website.