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 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 (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).
Food Additive Petitions - An animal food additive petition is the means for approval of new ingredients added to animal feed.
- 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.
- Guidance for Industry #53; Evaluation of the Utility of Food Additives in Diets Fed to Aquatic Animals
- Guidance for Industry #80; Studies to Evaluate the Utility of Anti-Salmonella Chemical Food Additives in Feeds (pdf - 13 pages)
- Guidance for Industry #203; Ensuring Safety of Animal Feed Maintained and Fed On-Farm (pdf - 15 pages)
- Draft Guidance for Industry #220; Use of Nanomaterials in Food for Animals (pdf - 10 pages)
- Guidance for Industry #221; Recommendations for Preparation and Submission of Animal Food Additive Petitions (pdf - 22 pages)
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.
- Guidance for Industry #135; Validation of Analytical Procedures for Type C Medicated Feeds (pdf - 14 pages)
- Guidance for Industry #137; Analytical Methods Description for Type C Medicated Feeds (pdf - 15 pages)
Poultry and Livestock Food
- BSE Issues
- Ruminant Feed Inspections
- Substances Prohibited from Use in Animal Food and Feed
- Guidance for Industry #67; Small Entities Compliance Guide for Renderers (pdf - 10 pages)
- Guidance for Industry #68; Small Entities Compliance Guide for Protein Blenders, Feed Manufacturers, and Distributors (pdf - 8 pages)
- Requirements for Persons that Intend to Separate Mammalian and Nonmammalian Materials (see section (e))
- Cattle Materials Prohibited in Animal Food or Feed to Prevent the Transmission of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
- Guidance for Industry #158; Use of Material from Deer and Elk in Animal Feed (pdf - 3 pages)
- Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD)
- VFD Brochures
- Draft Guidance for Industry #120; Veterinary Feed Directive Regulation (pdf - 20 pages)
- Current Good Manufacturing Practice for Medicated Feeds Regulation; Equipment Cleanout Procedures
- Guidance for Industry #23; Medicated Free Choice Feeds - Manufacturing Control
- Guidance for Industry #72; GMPs for Medicated Feed Manufacturers Not Required to Register and be Licensed with FDA (pdf - 9 pages)
- Guidance for Industry #91; Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Approval of Veterinary Medicinal Products on Stability Testing for Medicated Premixes (pdf - 4 pages)
- Safe Medicated Feed for Animal Producers (video)
- Medicated Feed Rules for Animal Feed Manufacturers (video)
- CVM Clarifies Use of Melengestrol Acetate in Combination with Monensin and Tylosin, and with Monensin Alone, in Animal Feed
- Blue Bird Labels
- Guidance for Industry #98; Dioxin in Anti-Caking Agents in Animal Feed and Feed Ingredients (pdf - 3 pages)
- Guidance for Industry #112; Fumonisin Levels in Human Foods and Animal Feeds; Final Guidance
- Guidance for Industry and FDA; Advisory Levels for Deoxynivalenol (DON) in Finished Wheat Products for Human Consumption and Grains and Grain By-Products used for Animal Feed
- Compliance Policy Guide 683.100 - Action Levels for Aflatoxins in Animal Feed
- Draft Guidance for Industry; Voluntary Labeling Indicating Whether Foods Have or Have Not Been Developed Using Bioengineering
- Guidance for Industry #181; Blue Bird Medicated Feed Labels (pdf - 9 pages)
- Guidance for Industry #55; Supportive Data for Cat Food Labels Bearing "Reduces Urinary pH" Claims: Protocol Development
- Guidance for Industry #122; Manufacturing and Labeling of Raw Meat Foods for Companion and Captive Noncompanion Carnivores and Omnivores (pdf - 14 pages)
- Pet Food Labeling Basics
- Draft Compliance Policy Guide 690.150 Labeling and Marketing of Nutritional Products Intended for Use to Diagnose, Cure, Mitigate, Treat, or Prevent Disease in Dogs and Cats (pdf - 8 pages)
Limits for Animal Feed Contaminants - Analytical Method Development for Feed Contaminants (pdf - 3 pages)
Reporting for Industry
Reporting for Consumers
- Guidance for Industry; Sanitary Transportation of Food
- FDA Takes Steps to Increase Safety of Foods During Transport (archived)
Center for Veterinary Medicine
Communications Staff (CVM)
Food and Drug Administration
7519 Standish Place
Rockville, MD 20855