Animal feed has a direct influence on the quality and safety of food of animal origin. Consumers of meat, milk, fish, and eggs expect the industry and retailers to supply safe, high quality products. The feed regulation applies to producers and traders of compound feeds, animal feeds, premixtures and additives, as well as transportation, transshipment, cultivation and feeding at the livestock farm. In addition, laboratories which carry out analyses may be certified.
What are the standards?
The European Regulation on Feed Hygiene (EU Reg. 183/2005) sets up hygiene and safety requirements for the whole feed chain, including feed additives and premixtures. This regulation:
- Integrates the manufacturing and distribution of feed additives, premixtures, and complete feeds in a global food chain
- Integrates HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points) principles
- Promotes the establishment of codes of practice in the feed chain
The Dutch Animal Feed Board (PDV), the EU Association of Speciality Feed Ingredients and their Mixtures, and the Foundation for Food Safety Certification developed these codes of practice which are now administered by GMP+ International FAMI-QS and FSSC respectively, to respond to the expectations of consumers, food producers and retailers. Primarily feed regulation requires correct use of additives and veterinary medical products. In addition the regulation provides for control of the levels of undesirable substances and products such as heavy metals, pesticides and aflatoxin. Finally, it measures to prevent Salmonella contamination of animals via the animal feed are required.
GMP+ Feed Safety Assurance is a complete module for the assurance of feed safety in all the links of the feed chain. Based on needs in practice, multiple components have been integrated into the GMP+ FSA module, such as requirements for the quality management system (ISO 9001), HACCP, product standards, traceability, monitoring, prerequisites programmes, chain approach and the Early Warning System.
FAMI-QS Code aims to encourage measures to be put in place to ensure the safety and quality of feed additives and premixtures; the operation of businesses in accordance with European feed hygiene requirements, and improved traceability. In order to align the Code with current animal feed legislation and various activities on national, industrial and/or association levels, it takes into account the principles of feed and food safety as well as HACCP principles that are set out in various international documents, using the ISO 9001 structure.
FSSC 22000 ensures food safety based on these generally recognized key elements:
- Interactive communication: A structured informative flow to guarantee effective control of hazards.
- System management: To control the interaction between the system’s elements.
- Prerequisite programmes: GMP, as detailed in the animal feed specific PAS 222.
- HACCP principles: The basic methodology to plan safe production processes which are appropriate for every individual company, without unnecessary bureaucracy.
Why is certification good for my business?
Demonstrable and transparent quality assurance constitutes a licence to produce. Certification shows your commitment to a set of globally recognised principles, opening the global market:
- Food safety has a high priority
- The animal feed industry, including ingredient suppliers, is part of the food chain and is responsible for the safety of its products
- HACCP is a proactive approach which links the feed chain to the food chain
- Quality control of raw materials is a mutual concern for suppliers and the animal feed industry
- The trade and industry are assuming their responsibility for product safety
By achieving the certification, your company can demonstrably guarantee that animal feeds and animal feed ingredients meet the legal rules and the requirements which have been agreed with the parties in the chain. The certification enables your organisation to:
- Communicate confidence to the customers, demonstrating that the feed or feed ingredients are produced by means of safe processes
- Prove that all reasonable precautions have been taken
- Allow the customers to demand certification and assessment of suppliers, if they operate in a country with a strong feed safety legislative framework
- Reduce the number of audits carried out by the customers and, consequently, save costs and management time
- Reduce product waste and product recall
- Improve relations with the food safety authorities
- Improve efficiency
Certification to the feed standards provide an effective means for communicating with stakeholders and other interested parties. It is an important element in demonstrating feed safety commitment under corporate governance, corporate responsibility, and financial reporting requirements. How can I prepare for certification? Companies that plan well will often have an advantage and be prepared for certification. It is important that you and your company are positive, committed, and set clear target dates for implementation and assessment.
- Establishing a quality management system
- Identifying legal requirements
- Identifying and documenting the specific feed safety hazards – related to the final food product – and the relevant control measures (HACCP system)
- Identifying the applicable Good Manufacturing Practice/Good Hygiene Practice, including a pest control programme, equipment and building maintenance programme, housekeeping and cleaning programme, and all the specific standard requirements
- Implement any needed structural improvements