Six Organizations That Keep Pet Food Safe

April 15, 2015

CHICAGO—The dog food market in the United States reached $14.5 billion in 2014 and the cat food market reached $7 billion according to Euromonitor International. There’s an overwhelming number of brands and types of cat and dog foods available today, and consumers want to know that they are making a safe choice when choosing a pet food. In the April issue of Food Technology magazine published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), IFT Fellow, Editor Emeritus of Food Technology, Neil H. Mermelstein writes about how several organizations are working together to make sure pet food is safe for our favorite companions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): The FDA regulations establish standards applicable for all animal feeds, including pet food: identification of product, net quantity statement, manufacturer’s name and address, and listing of ingredients. A proposed rule in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) includes good manufacturing practices for facilities and personnel involved in the manufacturing, processing, packing and holding animal food and requires companies to have a food safety plan and controls in place to minimize potential hazards. The agency expects to issue a final rule by August 30, 2015.

American Feed Industry Association (AFIA): This trade organization represents the business, legislative and regulatory interests of the U.S. animal feed and pet food industries and their suppliers. Its Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program for the animal feed industry is administered by the Safe Quality Food Institute and benchmarked by the Global Food Safety Initiative.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO): The AAFCO is an association of local, state, and federal agencies charged by law to regulate the sale and distribution of animal feeds and animal drug remedies. Although it has no regulatory authority, it develops and implements uniform and equitable laws, regulations, standards, definitions, and enforcement policies for regulating the manufacture, distribution, and sale of animal feed including pet foods.

FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM): This arm of the FDA regulates the manufacture and distribution of animal food, animal food additives, and drugs given to animals. If scientific data show a health risk to animals of ingredients or additives, the CVM can prohibit or modify its use in pet food.

Pet Food Institute (PFI): PFI is a trade organization representing the companies that produce 98 percent of the dog and cat food in the U.S. It works closely with states for product registrations and helps its member companies understand the regulatory requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act. They also produce guidance documents and publications to assist pet food manufacturers with increasing complex issues such as food safety, regulatory requirements and labeling.

Read the full Food Technology article here

About IFT
Founded in 1939, the Institute of Food Technologists is committed to advancing the science of food. Our non-profit scientific society—more than 17,000 members from more than 95 countries—brings together food scientists, technologists and related professionals from academia, government, and industry. For more information, please visit

Contact Us

Ariel Miller

IFT PR and Media Account Rep

Phone: 413.636.3615
Fax 312.596.5673