Get a free gift on your first order

The Food Safety Modernization Act: Changing the Future of Raw Pet Food

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is approaching its final deadlines. Learn about new rules that could affect raw feeding!

Stephanie Minturn · September 18, 2018

The future is now! The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is approaching its final deadlines. It is important for pet owners like you to understand the new regulations required by the FDA, and what all of this means for the health and well being of your pet. 

The FSMA was initiated by President Obama in 2011 and was designed to provide a preventative approach to pet food safety. The FDA shifted focus from responding appropriately to bacterial contamination issues to providing the framework necessary to prevent issues in the first place. Pet food companies nationwide are required to comply by specific dates which span from September 2017 to present, based on their level of production. 

It's no surprise that change is imminent regarding the safety of pet food. The increasing rate of recalls has become a trending topic of interest and has caused the FDA to implement a new set of rules, including a zero tolerance for bacterial contamination. I mentioned in last week's newsletter that human grade chicken, bought at the local grocery store, is permitted to contain 25% of the bacteria, salmonella. Pet food is now expected to have 0%. Seems odd, right?

The idea behind these changes is to eliminate the risk of cross-contamination. Cross-contamination may occur while handling your pet's empty food dish or if a  small child or other family members come in contact with the meat or utensils. This risk is significantly decreased when pet owners handle food responsibly and use proper sanitary practices. Regardless, the FDA has made the decision to prevent this issue all together. Cooking will not be a concern for kibble manufacturers, their diets are already processed and packed with preservatives. It is the raw companies who could suffer great repercussions.

In the interest of protecting humans from potentially harmful bacteria found in dry and raw foods, the FDA suggests heating pet food to a minimum of 160 degrees fahrenheit. As a raw feeder, you know that this process eliminates harmful bacteria but it also eliminates the beneficial living enzymes that make raw pet food the incredibly healthy diet that it is. Cooking means the benefits of raw diets are sure to decrease and the future of raw could be greatly affected. This deficit will lead to a serious decline in our pet's health. It's up to raw pet food companies to find the best pathogen-control process available, and to educate the public. 

Here at BARF World, we are dedicated to provide a complete and balanced, biologically appropriate diet maintaining the highest standards of quality and safety, while also providing you the remarkable benefits of raw. 

In upcoming newsletters, I will explain various pathogen control methods and the innovative approach BARF World is taking in order to continue to produce the same, superior raw diet you're used to! 

American Nutrition describes the new provisions created by the FDA. If you would like to learn more, click on each highlighted topic below to read specific stipulations and explanations.


1. Preventive Controls for Animal Food

The Preventive Controls rule is the primary focus of compliance for most pet food manufacturers. This segment of the legislation stipulates that current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) must be established for pet food production, and covered facilities must also establish and implement a robust food safety system. The system must include an analysis of hazards and risk-based preventive controls as well as a written food safety plan that includes a recall plan. 

2. Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP)

The FSVP rule requires manufacturers importing ingredients to verify that their foreign suppliers? processes are in line with the preventive controls and CGMP requirements outlined in the Preventive Controls rule. Additionally, they must ensure that any imported product is not adulterated and is properly labeled with allergen information. 

3. Accredited Third-Party Certification

Under this rule, manufacturers whose foreign suppliers obtain food safety certifications from FDA-recognized accreditation bodies can participate in the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP), which was introduced by FSMA to expedite review and entry of imported food for eligible participants. The FDA also reserves the right to require import certification under special circumstances to prevent a potentially harmful food from entering the country. 

4. Sanitary Transportation

This rule applies to most shippers, receivers, loaders and carriers that transport food directly into or within the United States. It is intended to confirm that the design and maintenance of transportation equipment does not cause food to become unsafe, through guidelines such as adequate temperature controls, cross-contamination measures and training of carrier personnel. Retaining a written record of carrier procedures, agreements and training is recommended for proof of compliance. 

Have questions? Email us at or call 1-866-282-BARF (2273). 

American Nutrition 
FDA Guidance for Industry 
FDA Regulation of Pet Food 


Stephanie Minturn

Stephanie Minturn

Stephanie is a Registered Nurse and proud mother of 4 who has always loved animals and the purity and beauty they bring into the world. She enjoys researching current trends and evidence-based practice in the pet industry and relating it to the healthcare industry for humans. She has passion in discovering new-found knowledge with other pet owners like herself.


Add Comment

Comments will appear once approved

What is BARF?

“BARF®” is our acronym which means “Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.” All of our diets are Complete and carefully Balanced; a proprietary blend of muscle meat, organs, bone-connector tissue, finely ground bone, fruits, veggies, vitamins and minerals. It’s the diet nature intended for our pets to not just survive but thrive.