Beginning Friday, March 20, the FDA is accepting comments on Draft Guidance 203, which outlines steps livestock producers can take to identify and prevent feed contaminants that could jeopardize animal health and food safety.

The draft document offers six general principles and practices for ensuring feed safety:

1.      Know what feed contaminants may be present in your animals’ feed and the measures known to prevent such contaminants from becoming unacceptable feed risks.

2.      Obtain feed from safe and reliable sources.

3.      Recognize unexpected changes in the feed at your farm (e.g., changes in color, smell, texture, or appearance).

4.      Know where in your production system(s) unacceptable feed risks may occur.

5.      Monitor animal feed products for contaminants during receiving, holding, and handling.

6.      Be aware that other actions, such as limiting access to the premises to authorized personnel, following feed labeling directions, proper personnel training, and sampling and testing of feed, can help ensure feed safety.

The Draft Guidance provides detailed recommendations on addressing unacceptable feed risks on the farm, feed-safety practices in procuring, growing and using animal feeds, pesticide and agricultural chemical use, personnel training, identifying the origin of feed and analyzing feed samples. It also offers examples of feed contaminants and unacceptable risk levels.

Stakeholders can submit comments on this draft guidance by June 3, 2015. Submit electronic comments to regulations.gov. Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. All comments should be identified with the docket number listed in the notice of availability that publishes in the Federal Register.

View Draft Guidance 203, including information on how to submit comments on the FDA website.