Everything You Need to Know About Pet Food Manufacturing

In a country with over 180 million dogs and cats, it’s no wonder that pet food manufacturing is a highly lucrative industry. Pet food is produced in many different forms, from kibble, to wet food, to freeze-dried options, and is specially formulated for domestic animals. The manufacturing process for pet food is similar to the process for human food, and also follows strict regulations and hygiene protocols to ensure product safety.

Pet food manufacturing has evolved over the years to provide more sophisticated options for your furry best friend. An article in Food Engineering Magazine points out that “These days, most owners don’t set a place for their pets at the dinner table, but do believe they deserve a nutritious, safe and good tasting diet.” With today’s standards in proper handling, safety protocols, and traceability practices, pet food manufacturing has never been safer or more efficient.

What Ingredients are Used in Pet Food Manufacturing?

Pet food is designed to provide high-quality nutrition at any stage of your pet’s life. This means that it’s important for pet food to be produced using safe, reliable, ingredients. One of the most important things to keep in mind when sourcing raw ingredients is to use trustworthy suppliers. Working with a supplier you trust ensures full traceability if a raw product doesn’t meet safety standards.

Most pet foods are made from a mix of meat byproducts, vegetables, and grains. Although pet food ingredients are highly-regulated, pet food often incorporates animal parts that aren’t recommended for human consumption. The GAPFA describes the ingredients used in modern pet food as “the parts of the animal surplus to the requirements of the human food industry. Examples of by-products include liver, kidney, lung and various meat by-product meals.”

No matter what your manufacturing process entails, sourcing quality ingredients is the first step in engineering nutritious and delicious food your pet will love.

How Are the Facilities Designed?

In order to keep pets healthy and workers safe, pet food manufacturing facilities are designed to include sanitary equipment, ample handwashing stations, and healthy airflow throughout the facility.

Quality Materials – Most machines used in pet food manufacturing are made of stainless steel. This is because stainless steel is easy to clean, simple to sanitize, and is durable and rust resistant. Plus, stainless steel equipment is often customizable, so you can outfit your facility for maximum efficiency and flow.

Handwashing Stations – Handwashing is crucial in any food manufacturing facility. Providing workers with clearly marked, easy to access hand washing stations prevents cross-contamination, and minimizes exposure to harmful bacteria.

Protective Coating – In facilities that handle raw ingredients, particularly raw meat products, it’s wise to install protective coating on the walls. This helps prevent bacteria from hiding in nooks and crannies and enables easy cleaning.

How are Ingredients Monitored Throughout the Pet Food Manufacturing Process?

To maintain safe, healthy, practices it’s important to monitor ingredients at every step during production.

Arrival   – When ingredients arrive at a facility, check to ensure all packaging is intact and the ingredients were kept at the proper temperature during transport. You also should verify that the transport vehicle was properly washed or sanitized before ingredients were loaded.

During Manufacturing – Once the ingredients have entered your facility, it’s your job to ensure they are processed correctly to eliminate dangerous bacteria. In most cases, this entails cooking ingredients at a high temperature where harmful bacteria cannot survive. Pet Food Institute refers to this “kill step” as “the point in the manufacturing process that eliminates potentially deadly pathogens.” Additionally, facilities should be routintely inspected for the presence of certain pathogens and metals during the manufacturing process.

Traceability – The most effective way to ensure consistent food safety is through traceability protocols. These practices include checking product seals, performing product quality checks, testing product PH, testing for bacteria, and ensuring that ingredient sources are delivering high-quality raw materials. Implementing traceability practices allows you to quickly address issues that arise during manufacturing. Since you have a thorough systems of checks and balances in place, it’s easier to pinpoint where an issue occurred in the process.

The Bottom Line

Hoping to streamline your facility? At Custom Cut Metals we provide meticulously designed equipment tailored to meet all your manufacturing needs. Our team at Custom Cut Metals is dedicated to helping you find the best solutions for your business, while incorporating cutting-edge technology for superior results.

At the end of the day you want your pet food manufacturing to be efficient, safe, and to produce high-quality products. At Custom Cut Metals we’ll provide your pet food facility with world-class manufacturing equipment that increases productivity and emphasizes safety.