Animal feed safety: 5 questions to ask your ingredient suppliers

FP&S Lab Manager Dan Jackson is passionate about quality control
FP&S Lab Manager Dan Jackson is passionate about quality control. Here, he takes a sample from a truck at loading time.

With the FDA's new preventive controls for animal feed in mind, here are 5 questions we recommend animal feed producers and distributors ask their ingredient suppliers:

  • 1. Do you control access to all material and ingredients that enter and leave the facility where your material is stored?

    We own and maintain our warehouses, processing facility and distribution center in Madison, Illinois, and therefore control access to all ingredients that enter and leave our property.

    What makes FP&S unique: Our stewardship is comprehensive. It begins when the barges containing products in bulk from our suppliers arrive from New Orleans, continues while at our plant for storage or processing, and remains in effect during transport via rail or truck from our facility to the point of destination or to our customer's own trucks at point of loading.

    What others do: Many of our competitors lease 3rd-party facilities, warehouses, shipping fleets, etc.,  that also handle non-feed ingredients such as fertilizer, road salt, steel coils, or coal -- all of which cause contamination.

  • 2. Besides feed ingredients, what other products are stored at your facility?

    Ours is a certified feed-only facility housing only feed-grade ingredients destined for animal feed.

    What makes FP&S unique: Our feed-only focus is unique to the industry.

    What others do: For many other companies, animal feed is a small percentage of their overall business, which can include fertilizer, scrap steel, steel coils, coal, petroleum coke, etc. Handling all of these products at the at the same facility increases the risk of contamination.

  • 3. How do you vet your suppliers to ensure quality?

    What makes FP&S unique: We maintain personal and long-lasting relationships with every supplier. We do not accept material from suppliers with whom we have not first established this relationship. Every supplier we have is vetted to ensure they have the required quality certificates issued by the governing bodies in their region or other international accreditation boards.

    We look for suppliers with whom we can establish long-lasting agreements for large quantities via a bulk vessel/barge model.

    What others do: Other companies source material via a container supply model. This model can raise doubts as to where the material originates. In addition, a container supply model inherently creates supply disruptions. Other companies sometimes find and distribute cheaper, one-off shipments of ingredients from suppliers that have not been thoroughly vetted. Quality becomes volatile and unstable.

  • 4. Does your facility use designated front-end loaders?

    What makes FP&S unique: Each of our bulk warehouses is dedicated to storage for a single ingredient, and we have designated front-end loaders for each building. These stringent procedures on our part, while not required, ensure that animal feed containing our supplements will be free of cross contamination.

    What other companies do: Since they do not own their facilities where their feed ingredients are handled, they have limited control or oversight regarding the standard operating procedures for the loading equipment. Their ability to ensure that your feed ingredients are not cross contaminated is unrealistic.

  • 5. Do you use a food-grade lubricant in your equipment?

    We use food-grade grease in all of our loaders, Bobcats, conveyor equipment and anything else that requires lubrication.

    What makes FP&S unique: This is another extra measure we take to ensure our products remain pure and free from risk of contamination. We pay attention to every detail.

    What other companies do: They have limited influence on the standard operating procedures at third-party facilities. Attention to detail at this level in a facility you do not control is very unlikely.

Photos: FP&S Lab Manager Dan Jackson is passionate about quality control. Here, he takes a sample from a tractor trailer at loading time so it can be stored, traced if necessary and archived at our plant headquarters. Samples are taken from every bulk load at departure and stored for one year.

What makes us unique

At Feed Products & Service Company, our feed-only focus, attention to detail, large-volume global sourcing, investment in ownership and long-lasting relationships make us unique in the industry. We're doing our best to be an efficient part of the process that helps feed the world, and we take that role seriously.

Food Safety Modernization Act compliance is in effect.

At Feed Products & Service Company, we're ready. Supporting the industry’s commitment to Safe Feed/Safe Food and the Food Safety Modernization Act is a company-wide global commitment.