According to the USDA, the meat becomes “inedible” for human consumption once it is bound for pet food production.
“Human-grade dog food” is a bit of a misconception
The USDA does not inspect pet food manufacturing plants, so there is no guarantee the processing of the food meets human-grade standards.
Thus any pet food that has “human-grade dog food” on the label is misleading, unless manufactured in a human food processing plant, and labeled as such.
What is pet grade?
Pet-grade was a status created by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), which handles defining pet food ingredients regulations. AAFCO argues claims on animal foods should not be false or misleading.
AAFCO created “nutritional standards for complete and balanced pet foods;” but, it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to follow these guidelines.
Furthermore, it is the state feed control official’s responsibility to regulate pet food, ensuring the distribution of correctly labeled pet food products.
Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows pet food to contain ingredients sourced from a variety of origins.
Question: Are your meat/vegetable/fruit/grain ingredients human edible?
Answer: All our ingredients come from human-grade suppliers.
Our meats are from meatpackers in Wisconsin. The cattle are on pasture for the first 12-18 months and are then transported to feedlots for 3 months.
But, our manufacturer, Evanger’s, is only certified to make pet food and animal feed, which means that the ingredients that come into the plant cannot be resold as human-grade.
Question: Are your supplements considered human-grade or feed-grade?
Answer: Our vitamin and supplement premix is from Trouw Nutrition. Trouw supplies the premix for many pet foods. The supplements are not human-grade, but feed-grade. And, the final product is manufactured in a plant certified for pet food.
Nutreco, which owns Trouw, has an extensive set of quality standards.
Even though the standards aren’t particular as to human-grade or pet-grace, the quality standards are quite high.
“Feeding the world’s growing population in a sustainable way is at the core of Nutreco’s mission. Such a goal can only be achieved with the cooperation of all our supply chain partners. The Supplier Code of Conduct…enables us to engage with our suppliers on material sustainability issues relating to their operations, and to set minimum criteria that should be met. We will only source from companies that comply with the rule of law, and who conform to the criteria set out in this Supplier Code of Conduct or can demonstrate they are working towards them.”
“Nutreco works with recognised organisations and platforms, such as the Consumer Goods Forum and others, to address outstanding issues such as deforestation in a pragmatic and effective way. That is also why in addition to the generic principles laid down in our Supplier Code of Conduct, we set additional minimum criteria in regards to the sustainable production and sourcing of agricultural crop and dairy products.”
“Suppliers shall implement traceability systems that enable the products supplied to Nutreco to be traced back to their source.”
“Animals shall be treated with care and respect. Living conditions for livestock should provide access to natural light, fresh air, fresh water, and a healthy diet. They should shelter the animals from extreme temperatures and provide adequate space and opportunity to engage in natural behaviours, including social contact with other animals. Animal stress during handling, transportation and slaughter shall be minimised.”
Question: Is your manufacturing in a certified human-grade food facility or a pet food facility?
Answer: The facility is pet food certified.
At PET | TAO, we welcome questions
Ask us about the “What?” and “Why?” behind our products.
For a consumer, knowing the details of pet food regulations, and the steps pet food companies go through for each product is important.