FSMA – Food Safety Modernization Act

On January 4, 2011 president Obama signed into law the FSMA which was created by the Food and Drug Administration, the FDA. It was seen as the most significant reform of food safety laws in more than 70 years and would include measures to ensure consumable items would be safe for your pet. It’s goal is to ensure the safety of the US food supply by utilizing prevention rather than reaction and exposure to contamination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 48 million people get sick yearly from foodborne illness and that this is generally preventable. The FDA will become able to ensure a stronger food safety system that includes enforcement capabilities for prevention compliance. Working with local and state authorities, the FDA is also utilizing new tools to hold imported foods to the same expectations as domestic foods.

FDA To Do List

 Prevention controls

  • Food facilities are required to formulate a plan that identifies possible hazards and steps to avoid, how they will monitor controls, maintain records and identifying action that would be taken in the event a problem occurs.
  • The establishment of basic standards of growing and harvesting of fruits and vegetables.
  • The prevention of intentional adulteration of food.

Inspection and Compliancefile0001724565277

  • A set inspection schedule for food producers will be utilized.
  • The FDA will have access to records that include safety plans.
  • The requirement of food testing to be performed by accredited laboratories.

How the FDA will Respond

  • Mandatory recalls and the detention of products that are considered suspect.
  • Suspension of facility registrations which will stop movement of a product.
  • Advanced recordkeeping for foods thought to be high risk and the creation of a system that will track both domestic and imported foods.

Safe For Your Pet Too

Not only was the goal of the FSMA to enact greater authority over compliance in imported products, but also to develop partnerships with governmental agencies, both domestic and foreign, to ensure the safety of our food and the food that we feed our pets. Legislation gave the FDA the task to create comprehensive controls, based on prevention, across the human and animal food supply. The proposed rule, as a preventative control, will utilize equal processing standards for facilities that manufacture, process and pack food for pets and animal feed. This will be accomplished via Good Manufacturing Practices, or GMPs that will be applied to the manufactures. Living_hand_to_pawHistorically, there have been no GMPs in place controlling animal food and it is safe to say that they are sorely needed. Included in the list of requirements are adequate sanitation of plants and grounds, pest control, safe storage and use of cleaning supplies and proper labeling of animal food and the ingredients they are made from. These expectations mirror the GMPs for human food since it is understood that contaminated pet food has the ability to harm humans also.

8 comments on “Safe For Your Pet and You: Understanding the FSMA

  • You have an amazing website here. For a lot of people their pets are almost like kids and they go through great lengths to keep them safe. So i see the value here

    I’m happy that Obama signed in this law that restricted what could be in your pets food. The FDA needs to protect animals because they cant protect themselves. At least humans have the ability to research what were eating. Pets don’t have that luxury

    Thanks for the info.

  • That is great to know that there are now also regulations and compliance for pet food as well our food.
    I think I mentioned on another of your posts that I have always wondered what exactly is in our pet food and how safe it is for our animals.
    There have been some really strange looking tinned foods here (in South Africa) when purchasing for my cat. I’m not sure what regulations we have here for pet food, but I am sure we will follow soon if we haven’t yet.

    • Hi Lynne,

      Thanks for your comments. I did a quick search of pet food safety in South Africa and I found that
      the PFI, the Pet Food Industry Association of Southern Africa indicates that safe food can be identified by a “V” number followed by “Act 36 of 1947” on its packaging. This indicates that the food has been registered by the manufacturer or distributor. This identification ensures that the food is safe and will provide the minimum nutritional standards. That page that I read is a few years old, but it might be worth researching this today.

      Take Care,


  • My dogs are two of the most important family members in my life. I appreciate this information on the FSMA law. I was wondering if you could provide a link to the best government source for more information? Have you seen any evidence of this law being enforced in the form of factory shutdowns or fines?

  • I am glad that people are out there sticking up for ur pets. It can be tough to find quality product that you trust. We treat our two dogs like they are our kids and only want the best for them. Thanks for this article i think it will be extremely helpful to me and others.

    • Hi, It is very important that pet parents educate themselves, both currently and historically, in order to provide the best care possible for their pets. It is too easy to assume that a product is safe to give your pet, if it is available for purchase. Due to the FSMA and as a consumer for our pets, we have an understanding today of the controls in place to protect our pets. Thanks for visiting and for your comments!

      Take Care,


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