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With the recent trend of the global food trade, food safety has become a concern that needs to be emphasized even more to ensure a safe food supply. All members of the food supply chain play a role in maintaining food safety. Whether you are a supplier, a business owner, a manufacturer, or a customer, you have a significant part in food safety. That means we at DSM play a large role in the safety and quality of animal food that can affect the lives and wellbeing of millions of consumers locally and globally. The decisions that we make every day can determine how healthy animals will be, and how safe the food produced by animals will be. At DSM we take various steps to ensure the food safety.
So, what is Food Safety? Food safety refers to the proper handling procedures applied during the preparation, processing, storage, and distribution of products used for animal food and animal feed. In the United States, The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the most sweeping reform of food safety laws in more than 70 years. FSMA shifts the focus away from merely responding to contamination events toward establishing systems to prevent them from occurring. The law directed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to write seven regulations, each of which affects the vast and complex food and feed system in the U.S Any businesses that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food for consumption by animals in the United States are required to comply with FSMA. This includes feed mills, animal feed and pet food manufacturers and processors, and holding facilities. FSMA requires the facility to maintain compliance with several areas: the facility must implement Good Manufacturing Processes, train Qualified Individuals, and designate at least on Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) who oversees and implements the Animal Food Safety Plan and hazard analysis specific to the facility.
Each DSM facility works hard to ensure compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practices. We recognize the importance cGMP’s in ensuring safe, quality food and prioritize compliance in our day-to-day operations.
Each facility is unique and so may be the type of hazards present and the way to properly mitigate that hazard. Each facility is required to perform and maintain a hazard analysis specifically designed for the facility and the products that are manufactured or handled. Hazard identification must consider known or reasonably foreseeable hazards for each type of animal food manufactured, processed, packed or held at the facility.
There are three primary types of food safety hazards, and they are:
Physical contamination occurs when any physical object or foreign matter gets into food; this can happen at any stage, from ingredient production right through to presenting the product to the customer. Common examples of a physical contamination are metal fragments, stones, glass, wood fragments, and personal items. DSM recognizes the risk that physical contamination poses to the safety of our product and take actions to mitigate that risk. Many DSM sites utilize various screens throughout the production to sift product and catch physical hazards that may have contaminated the product. Some facilities also use magnets to attract metallic foreign objects so that they do not end up in the finished product. DSM also used metal detectors on the packaging lines to monitor for physical contaminants and alert the production team if contamination has occurred.
A Biological Hazard is caused when an organism which can pose a threat to human or animal health contaminates the product. Biological hazards can include different sorts of microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, yeasts, molds, and parasites. Prevention of Biological contamination is essential to limit food-borne diseases. A common example of a biological hazard is salmonella which can cause illness in both humans and animals. To mitigate the risk of biological contaminants like salmonella, DSM utilizes proper cleaning and sanitation programs. DSM also ensures proper tools are used for food-contact.
Chemical hazards include natural toxins and chemical contaminants such as cleaning and sanitizing agents, drugs, additives, pesticides, and industrial chemicals. One such chemical hazard that is very prevalent in the animal food industry is Aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a natural toxin produced by molds and can negatively affect the health of various animal species, including humans. For example, if the corn that is used in poultry broiler feed is contaminated with aflatoxin and fed to the broilers, there could a decrease in weight gain and feed efficiency. To mitigate the risk of chemical hazards, DSM facilities implement a chemical control program, testing raw or finished materials, cycle counting of high-risk ingredients, and qualifying suppliers to ensure safe food.
We have a very large impact on the quality of life of the animals consuming our product as well as the people depending on us for a safe food supply chain. Therefor we have a duty and an obligation to recognize that various factors that can impact the safety of our products and mitigate any foreseeable hazards.
19 December 2022
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