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Biological, Chemical, and Physical Contaminants in Animal Food

Animal food, including pet food, has the potential to contain a wide range of contaminants including biological, chemical (including radiological), or physical. Contaminants maybe introduced into animal food from either natural sources (e.g., mycotoxins) or potentially introduced during the manufacturing process. CVM’s Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals (GFI#245) provides additional information on biological, chemical, and physical hazards from the perspective of ingredient-related hazards, process-related hazards, and facility-related hazards.

CVM continually monitors animal food, including pet food, through its Animal Feed Contaminants Program. In addition, as needed, CVM will also issue assignments to monitor a specific industry, product, or contaminant. Information on assignments can be found on the individual contaminant webpage.

CVM may prohibit any detectable amount of a contaminant or establish a regulatory limit for the contaminant. Action is based on the protection of public health, the extent to which the presence of the contaminant cannot be avoided, and other ways in which the consumer may be affected by the contaminant. Information on regulatory limits can be found on the individual contaminant webpages. For information on compliance and enforcement actions, including recalls, related to CVM regulated products, go to Compliance & Enforcement and Recalls & Withdrawals.


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