FDA withdraws outdated guidances related to animal feed

Three compliance policy guides withdrawn pertained to use of certain animal-derived materials in animal food.

May 1, 2019

3 Min Read
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In a continued commitment to its modernized, risk-based approach to the regulation of animal food under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the U.S. Food & Drug Administration announced April 30 that it has withdrawn three outdated compliance policy guides (CPGs) pertaining to the use of certain animal-derived materials in animal food.

FDA said these CPGs originally were issued in 1979-80 to explain FDA’s enforcement priorities regarding the use of certain materials in animal food.

The agency said its withdrawal action is "intended to clarify FDA regulatory policy" for manufacturers of animal food (including ingredients) and to remind the industry about the agency’s expectations of manufacturers that use materials from “diseased animals and animals that died otherwise than by slaughter” under the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic (FD&C) Act and the FSMA preventive controls for animal food regulations.

Specifically, FDA decided to withdraw "CPG Sec. 675.400 — Rendered Animal Feed Ingredients" and "CPG Sec. 690.300 — Canned Pet Food" because of the additional regulatory tools gained through FSMA.

Under FSMA and the preventive controls regulation, FDA said many animal food facilities are now required to establish a food safety plan, including identifying and evaluating known or reasonably foreseeable hazards. Preventive control measures must then be put into place to significantly minimize or prevent hazards that require preventive controls.

Some examples of known hazards in ingredients from such animals are identified in "Draft Guidance for Industry #245" and include biological hazards such as salmonella and chemical hazards such as decomposed tissue and residues from drugs like pentobarbital (used for euthanasia).

FDA noted that it recently validated a method for detection of pentobarbital in tallow. The agency published the method on its website to make it accessible to the animal food industry and to reinforce the expectation that the industry must make sure its products do not contain pentobarbital. Any presence of pentobarbital renders a food product adulterated under federal law.

Additionally, FDA said it has withdrawn "CPG Sec. 690.500 — Uncooked Meat for Animal Food" because it simply restates the adulteration provision of section 402(a)(5) of the FD&C Act and FDA’s existing ability to take action on uncooked animal food products derived from “diseased animals or animals that died otherwise than by slaughter.”

For those businesses that are not subject to the preventive controls regulation, FDA said it continues to use a "risk-based approach to regulate animal food under the adulteration and misbranding provisions in the FD&C Act."

Although the agency has withdrawn these three CPGs, FDA pointed out that the underlying risk-based approach to food safety has not changed. As always, FDA said it will take action against animal food products when necessary to protect human and animal health.

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