Keeping Pet Foods Safe through the Logistics Supply Chain
Food Grade January 26, 2017
Ensuring the safety of pet foods in our globalized, complex world of trade and international supply chain logistics can be tricky. It takes an unwavering commitment to special care and quality-control procedures to ensure safe and consistent food grade logistics and warehousing.
Most of the pet food sold in Canada is manufactured in our country or the U.S., and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency oversees and regulates the importation of pet foods sold in Canada.
However, a 2015 study published by the American Veterinary Medical Association raises concern. It found about 40% of dog and cat foods – both dry and wet foods and treats – contained meats from species not listed in a product’s ingredients. Moreover, some of those meats were contaminated.
Whether due to mislabelling or any other shortcoming, pet food manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, and retailers need to have confidence in the security and integrity of their food supply chain and third-party logistics (3PL) partner. After all, their reputations and livelihoods depend on it.
Raw Pet Food Logistics Challenges
Meanwhile, there’s a growing trend among Canadian pet owners to feed their dogs or cats a natural diet of grain-free or raw food. Transporting raw meat and vegetables into or across Canada presents a unique set of challenges and concerns.
Although Canadian natural or raw pet food sales aren’t tracked, according to sales figures stateside tabulated by research firm GfK, natural and grain-free pet food accounted for 58% of the US$13 billion American pet specialty market in 2015. In a separate report, GfK estimated the Canadian pet food marketplace to be worth about $3 billion annually. That latter report also highlighted the future U.S. market growth of raw pet foods might slow unless food manufacturers can adequately address consumers’ fears of contaminated food recalls.
Though the Canadian food supply chain for both humans and animals is among the world’s best, safe handling procedures must be followed throughout the supply chain to prevent the risk of contamination from harmful pathogens.
The most effective way to ensure natural or raw pet food product safety is through relentless adherence to food grade storage standards and best practices. These include guaranteeing all raw food is handled, stored, and transported in refrigerated trucks and conditions, and maintaining rigid sanitation procedures across the supply chain.
What to Look for in a 3PL Food Partner
Preventing a food safety crisis requires a supply chain logistics partner with an appetite for prevention measures, including:
Annual, comprehensive supply chain audits to ensure compliance and provide transparency into the origins and journeys of pet foods and materials
An educated and certified staff with up-to-date knowledge of all regulatory and additional food hygiene and safety policies and procedures across the supply chain
Knowledge of and strict adherence to the Canadian Food Safety Enhancement Program (FSEP), as well as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Canada certification
Climate-controlled vehicles, storage facilities, and modern technology to monitor and track everything from order fulfillment to inbound and outbound shipments
Canadian food suppliers and retailers have relied on our services since 1950 because of our dedication to high-quality food grade transportation, handling, safety, and storage practices. Choose an experienced 3PL partner you can trust.