Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program – “Our Responsibility, Our Promise”

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Submitted to Appolis, Inc. as our Guest Blogger – August 2012

By Keith Epperson, American Feed Industry Association’s vice president of manufacturing and training

The Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program is a voluntary, independently third-party-certified program designed for feed mills and feed- and ingredient-related facilities in the United States and Canada. The SF/SF program establishes comprehensive standards of excellence that go beyond existing regulations to maximize food and feed safety. Communicating food safety risks to the industry, building consensus among the segments of the industry, continuing the education process, and enhancing consumer confidence in the feed and food supply are all important aspects of the program.

Healthy, productive animals translate into a safe, sound food supply. And it starts with "Our Responsibility, Our Promise" to provide the best feed for dairy and beef cattle, swine, horses, poultry, fish, and companion animals.

The American Feed Industry Association, the world's largest organization devoted exclusively to representing the business, legislative, and regulatory interests of the livestock feed and pet food industries, established the SF/SF program in 2004. The mission of the SF/SF program is to establish and promote generally accepted food safety guidelines designed to ensure continuous improvement in the delivery of a safe and wholesome feed supply for the growth and care of animals.

A key component of the SF/SF program is the traceability. Any safety program for food or feed requires a comprehensive system of traceability within food and feed businesses so that targeted and accurate withdrawals can be undertaken and information shared with consumers or regulators, thereby avoiding the potential for unnecessary wider disruption in the event of food safety problems. It is necessary to ensure that a feed business can identify the sources from which the ingredients that are incorporated into a feed or feed ingredient have been supplied. The traceability of feed or feed ingredients intended to be incorporated into the food chain shall be established at all stages of production, processing, and distribution.

All facilities that receive ingredients or products and recombine those ingredients to create a product with a new identity must have a system of ingredient lot tracking and product tracing:

  • Ingredient lot tracking records the individual ingredient lots used in the manufacturing process and tracks each to its respective lots of finished products.
  • Product tracing provides a complete list of all ingredient lots used in any lot of finished product.

These requirements are identical to the FDA’s Bioterrorism Act record-keeping rule requirements found in 21 CFR, Part 1.

For more details on the SF/SF program’s traceability requirements, click here.

For companies interested in learning more about the Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program, feel free to contact me at or (703) 558-3568.

For companies interested in learning more about mobile bar-coded software automation solutions for traceability for the feed mills and feed- and ingredient-related facilities, feel free to contact me at or 612-343-0404 x109

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