There are many steps in the process of creating and manufacturing animal feed. Ensuring animal feed is made to the utmost quality requires having standards in place that check each step along the way, making sure nothing compromises the final product.
At FeedSafeNZ our mission is to guarantee quality control for animal feed throughout the NZ agriculture industry. Our certifications establish minimum standards in the animal feed production process from the growing and harvesting of materials, through to processing, manufacture and storage.
For feed manufacturers looking to get the FeedSafeNZ tick, we carry out audits with our partners Asure Quality, a worldwide food safety and bio-security services provider.
In this article we go into the detail of what these quality standards are and how we assess them in our audits.
Our Standards for Quality Animal Feed
There are numerous risks that can arise from not maintaining standards in feed production, and these are present at all points in the production process. These risks include contamination of food products via residual contaminants in animal feed, cross contamination of ingredients during storage and processing, mislabelled feed and low nutrient feeds impacting animal performance.
The audits assess the following key areas in animal feed manufacturing.
- Our audits start with one of the most important aspects in feed manufacturing- the place of production. If facilities aren’t properly maintained and don’t follow good manufacturing processes, it’s easy for contaminants to enter the production process.
- We evaluate the buildings, grounds and general plant design to make sure the environment of the food product is as hygienic as possible. This includes checking if there is adequate lighting and ventilation, or if machinery is up to standard. Administrative standards are also reviewed, making sure mills are correctly keeping records.
- Close attention to cleaning processes also occurs to make sure they are up to standard as poor cleaning hygiene is a leading culprit for contaminants entering the supply chain. Water used in the process is checked for things like e coli, which is another area where contamination can occur.
- Pest and vermin control is assessed, as feed manufacturing facilities can attract them and it’s crucial they aren’t present in areas where contamination could occur. It’s important that finished goods (bulk and bagged) are properly stored to eliminate exposure as well.
- We measure the ingredients that go into the feed, making sure that manufacturers are adding only the most safe, healthy and nutrient-rich to their products.
- Standards must be kept for any ingredients imported in as well. Our local feed manufacturers are increasingly sourcing raw materials offshore from places like Australia and Argentina. Other countries have regulations that differ from ours and anything from foreign ecosystems can cause problems to our local agriculture, so this area of feed production can especially present risks.
- Labeling and packaging must be regulated as well and we check to make sure labeling is clear and accurate, removing the room for error of a farmer mistakenly using the wrong type of feed.
By having stringent standards which assess and evaluate animal feed production at all steps in the process, FeedSafeNZ ensures that only the best animal feed is given to our livestock. This helps to enhance livestock performance and minimises risk from any subpar products.
If you would like to know more about our audits and have any questions about how they are conducted, reach out to us here.