Accurate traceability of ingredients allows pet food manufacturers to solve biosecurity problems more quickly and control health concerns about pet food safety, said Ken Wilson, PhD, head of technical services at Simmons Feed Ingredients, at Petfood Forum 2016. For example, in 2007, tracing melamine-comtaminated pet food led FDA to an ingredient supplier in China who was adulterating his products.

“We need to be able to connect the dots of people, processes and, ultimately, the products so that we can mitigate any exposure our customer might have,” said Wilson.

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When pet food manufacturers have a biosecurity issue, they want to be able to follow that issue back to its source, said Wilson. The problem may be traced to their own facilities, or it could lead back to their processed ingredient suppliers, such as Simmons. That supplier then needs to be able to trace the source of the biosecurity concern to their own processes or to their raw materials supplier.

The products themselves are at the core of traceability, but in the interconnected, globalized modern economy, traceability needs to account for people too, said Wilson. The handling of ingredients by intermediaries needs to be considered. The supply chain needs to be followed back to the source of each ingredient, and the behavior of the people involved needs to be evaluated.  

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