Animal & Veterinary

Safe Feed

Within FDA, the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) has a role in ensuring the safety of animal food, which includes feed ingredients, mixed feed, medicated feed, and pet food, treats, and chews. CVM uses a comprehensive program - the Animal Feed Safety System - to carry out its animal food regulatory responsibilities. Manufacturers and users are responsible for producing safe feed and pet food, and for following FDA regulations. This page provides links to information about safe feed and pet food for consumers, animal feeders, animal feed manufacturers, pet food and pet treat manufacturers, and ingredient suppliers.

What do you want to do?

Seek Ingredient Approval
Manufacture Animal Feed
Learn about Good Animal Feeding Practices
Report a Problem
Ship Animal Feed
Learn about FSMA
Get Assistance 

Seek Ingredient Approval

What is an ingredient?

A feed ingredient is a component part or constituent or any combination/mixture added to and comprising the feed. Feed ingredients might include grains, milling byproducts, vitamins, minerals, fats/oils, and other nutritional and energy sources. Feed ingredients can also include substances that are intended to affect the characteristics or properties of animal feed such as enzymes, processing aids, anticaking agents, and stabilizers. Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, any substance that is added to or is expected to become a component of animal feed, either directly or indirectly, must be used in accordance with an animal food additive regulation unless it is generally recognized as safe for that use (GRAS). Approved food additives are listed in Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Sections 573 and 579 and a partial listing of substances that are considered GRAS for an intended use are found in Title 21 CFR 582 and 584. 

The Official Publication of the Association of American Feed Control Officials disclaimer icon (AAFCO) contains the most complete list of feed ingredients with their definitions. The Official Publication includes the list of approved food additives and a list of substances Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS).

Regulation of Feed Ingredients and Feed

Food Additive Petitions - An animal food additive petition is the means for approval of new ingredients added to animal feed.

Environmental Impact Considerations

Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) Notification Program

Color Additives

  • In animal food, a color additive is any ingredient that:
    • is included in feed to impart color
    • when fed to a food producing animal imparts color to the meat, milk, or eggs.


Memorandum of Understanding between FDA and the Association of American Feed Control Officials on Feed Ingredient Listing (MOU 225-07-7001)

Back to the top

Manufacture Animal Feed

Basic Information

Feed and feed ingredient manufacturers have a legal responsibility to ensure that every ingredient used in their products is safe for its intended use, and their products are not adulterated or misbranded. Medicated feeds must be manufacturing in accordance with current good manufacturing practice regulations.

Preventive Controls for Animal Food

  • The Preventive Control Regulations include baseline CGMP standards for producing safe animal food that take into consideration the unique aspects of the animal food industry and provide flexibility for the wide diversity in types of animal food facilities. The regulations also include a food safety system with an analysis of hazards and risk-based preventive controls for covered facilities.

Food Facility Registration - All domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food for consumption by people or animals in the United States are required to register with the FDA and renew registration every two years.


Poultry and Livestock Food

Medicated Feed



Pet Food

Back to the top

Learn about Good Animal Feeding Practices

Storing, Handling, and Using Animal Milk Replacer Products

Judicious Use of Antimicrobials

Limits for Animal Feed Contaminants - Analytical Method Development for Feed Contaminants (pdf - 3 pages)

Safe Animal Feed (video)

Guidance for Industry #69; Small Entities Compliance Guide for Feeders of Ruminant Animals with On-Farm Feed Mixing Operations (pdf - 7 pages)

Guidance for Industry #70; Small Entities Compliance Guide for Feeders of Ruminant Animals without On-Farm Feed Mixing Operations (pdf - 6 pages)

Back to the top

Report a Problem

Reporting for Industry

Reporting for Consumers

Back to the top

Ship Animal Feed

Importing Animal Feed

Exporting Animal Feed

Transporting Feed

Back to the top

Get Assistance

Center for Veterinary Medicine
Communications Staff (CVM)


Food and Drug Administration
7519 Standish Place
Rockville, MD 20855

Back to the top


Page Last Updated: 05/02/2016
Note: If you need help accessing information in different file formats, see Instructions for Downloading Viewers and Players.
Language Assistance Available: Español | 繁體中文 | Tiếng Việt | 한국어 | Tagalog | Русский | العربية | Kreyòl Ayisyen | Français | Polski | Português | Italiano | Deutsch | 日本語 | فارسی | English