* Testing raw materials and ingredients to verify that suppliers have significantly minimized or prevented hazards reasonably likely to occur in the raw materials and ingredients;
* Testing the environment to verify that sanitation controls have significantly minimized or prevented the potential for environmental pathogens to contaminate animal food; and
* Testing finished product to verify that preventive controls have significantly minimized or prevented hazards reasonably likely to occur in the animal food.
Each type of testing provides information applicable to managing hazards in animal foods, depending on the animal food and process. The Agency discusses the role of testing as a verification measure in a food safety system in section I of the Appendix to this document.
G. The Role of Supplier Approval and Verification Programs in a Food Safety System
An animal food can become contaminated through the use of contaminated raw materials or ingredients as evident by the large recall of pet food because of contamination of wheat gluten with melamine (see discussion in section II.E.1). The development of a supplier approval and verification program is part of a preventive approach. Because many facilities acting as suppliers procure their raw materials and ingredients from other suppliers, there is often a chain of suppliers before a raw material or other ingredient reaches the manufacturer/processor. Using a preventive approach, a facility receiving raw materials or ingredients from a supplier can help ensure that the supplier (or a supplier to the supplier) has implemented preventive controls to significantly minimize or prevent hazards that the receiving facility has identified as reasonably likely to occur in that raw material or other ingredient unless the receiving facility will itself control the identified hazard.
A supplier approval and verification program is a means of ensuring that raw materials and ingredients are procured from those suppliers that can meet facility specifications and have appropriate programs in place, including those related to the safety of the raw materials and ingredients. A supplier approval program can ensure a methodical approach to identifying such suppliers. A supplier verification program is essential to provide initial and ongoing assurance that suppliers are complying with practices to achieve adequate control of hazards in raw materials or ingredients. The Agency discusses supplier approval and verification programs in more detail in section II of the Appendix to this document.
III. Public Meeting and Preliminary Stakeholder Comments
IV. Summary of the Scope of the Proposed Rule
This proposed rule would apply to animal facilities required to register with
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