Production and harvesting practices may impact whether raw materials and ingredients contain hazards. For example, machine-harvested forage or hay is more likely to be contaminated with physical hazards than hand-harvested forage or hay, because the machinery often picks up foreign material from the field. For this reason, machine-harvested forage or hay may lead to increased incidence of hardware disease in cattle (e.g., traumatic reticuloperitonitis developing as a result of perforation of the reticulum), which often occurs when animals consume food contaminated with physical hazards. Cattle commonly ingest heavy, sharp foreign objects because they take large mouthfuls of food and do not completely chew food before swallowing. The disease is common when greenchop, silage, and hay are made from fields that contain old rusting fences or baling wire, because these foods are often machine-harvested. The grain ration may also be a source of physical hazards due to accidental addition of metal such as nails, nuts, or bolts during the production process (Ref. 67).
Proposed SEC 507.33(d)(4) would require that the hazard evaluation consider the effects of transportation practices on the safety of the finished animal food. Animal food can become unsafe as a result of poor transportation practices. For example, failure to adequately control temperature during transportation could make animal food unsafe if the product requires time and temperature controls to ensure safety. Distributing animal food in bulk without adequate protective packaging can make the food susceptible to contamination during transportation, e.g., from pathogens or chemicals present in an inadequately cleaned vehicle or from other inadequately protected foods that are being co-transported and are potential sources of contamination (Ref. 72).
The Sanitary Food Transportation Act of 2005 (SFTA) gives FDA authority to require shippers, carriers by motor vehicle or rail vehicle, receivers, and other persons engaged in the transportation of food to use sanitary transportation practices to ensure that food is not transported under conditions that may render the food adulterated. The Agency published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on
Proposed SEC 507.33(d)(5) would require that the hazard evaluation consider the effects of manufacturing/processing procedures on the safety of finished animal food. For example, hazards may arise from manufacturing/processing operations such as cooling or holding of certain animal food products due to the potential for germination of pathogenic spore forming bacteria such as Clostridium spp. and Bacillus spp. (which may be present in animal food ingredients) as a cooked product is cooled and reaches a temperature that would promote germination and outgrowth of the spores. Hazards may also arise from animal food manufacturing/processing activities such as acidification due to the potential for bacterial contamination if the acidification is not done correctly. Physical hazards may occur from metal fragments generated during the manufacture of animal food on equipment in which metal (e.g., a blade, saw, or knife) is used to cut products during manufacturing.
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