Why Animal Food Chain Traceability is Critical

Read through just about any pet food ingredient list—whether wet or dry—and you’ll find corn. When corn is improperly dried or stored the mold species Aspergillus can grow and develop into the toxin Aflatoxin. Elevated levels of Aflatoxin-contaminated pet food can be deadly if consumed. Although there are ways for farmers and manufacturers to test corn for toxins, too much of it has been able to slip through the cracks, be used as ingredients in pet food distributed by major brands, and find its way into households worldwide. Iams, Marksman, River Run, and Arrow are just a few of the brands recalled because of illness or death as a result of consumed contaminated pet food products in the last decade.

Pet food contamination can also occur after the food leaves the farm. Nearly three years ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the Final Rule on the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food. It was April of 2016 when the FDA published this new rule—which was one of seven comprising the overarching Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). In response to the flurry of animal food product recalls in recent years, the FDA established this rule to curtail dangerous practices, which put the safety of animal food chain transportation at risk. These risks included improper food protection procedures, substandard vehicle cleanings between stops, and the inability to properly refrigerate food. This rule focused on overall food safety procedures instead of just emphasizing general food quality. Failure to adhere to any of these standards can also lead to illness or death of animals and costly, but preventable product recalls.

Potential contaminants at the farm and in transit are just two of the reasons animal food chain tracing measures are critical to the safety of pets and animals everywhere. For serious animal lovers and animal food chain managers, it’s not good enough to know the brand of pet foods. It’s imperative to have the ability to trace an animal’s lifecycle from the farm until it reaches your pet or animal’s mouth. This requires a concentrated effort to gather and protect data throughout the global animal food chain to alert the appropriate parties to issues before they escalate to recall situations.

Animal Food Chain Traceability

Complete animal food chain traceability is no small feat, and it’s literally a life or death matter. It requires having the systems and technology in place to collect, monitor and maintain data regarding each animal’s breeding, growth process, diet, vaccines, and eventual slaughter. Animal data collection must continue through the supply chain to the supermarket or end-user delivery using unique identifiers such as radio frequency identification (RFID) ear tags and/or electronic data interchange standards (EDI).

Higher Standards & Safer Food Chain

Langham Logistics meets the FDA’s animal food chain traceability standards for 3PLs. But, meeting the standard is never enough for Langham…at Langham; the goal is always to exceed expectations. Langham adheres to a strict set of practices to preserve optimal product freshness and efficacy in their animal food chain. This means following the FDA’s guidelines as well as the Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) guidelines for sanitation, training, facility maintenance, hygiene, and operations. Businesses interested in higher animal food chain standards turn to Langham Logistics, the 3PL with years of cold pharma expertise, to ensure compliance with the many regulations surrounding the safe storage and transport of animal food chain products. Contact Langham Logistics today for more information.

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