By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Food and Drug Administration issued the Preventive Controls for Food for Animals rule last week to make animal feed and pet food sold in the United States much safer.

This came after an increased number of pet food recalls with risks of Salmonella contamination over the last few years including an outbreak at a South Carolina facility which led to the recall of 30,000 tons of both dog and cat food. And even more recently, an investigation was launched as to why jerky treats made in the US and China were making thousands of dogs and cats sick.

Serious issues abound for years. It was reported that Melamine, a chemical used to make plastic, was actually intentionally added to pet food ingredients made in China in 2007, killing many pets and inciting a major recall. Dioxin, a toxic chemical linked to cancer has also been reportedly found in pet food ingredients in the past.

Prior to this new FDA rule, there were no safeguards in place for animal food safety and regulation. Fortunately, this new rule will change that as it is set to protect all animal foods from chemicals, disease-causing bacteria, and other contaminants. Manufacturers will now be required to develop various procedures to prevent food borne illnesses and to also follow proposed appropriate manufacturing practices to address sanitation issues.

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