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This code of practice applies to feed manufacturing and to the use of all feeds, other than those consumed while grazing free range. The objective of the code is to encourage adherence to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) during the procurement, handling, storage, processing (however minimal), and distribution of feed for food producing animals. A further objective is to encourage good feeding practices on the farm.

There are potential risks to human health associated with the contamination of feed with chemical or biological agents. This code outlines the means by which these hazards can be controlled by adopting appropriate processing, handling and monitoring procedures. The principle approaches required for assessing foodborne hazards to human health have been outlined elsewhere.[3]*

General management

The ultimate responsibility for the production of safe and wholesome feed lies with the producer or manufacturer who should produce feeds with as low a level of hazard as possible and comply with any applicable statutory requirements.

The effective implementation of GMP protocols will ensure that:

- buildings and equipment, including processing machinery, will be constructed in a manner which permits ease of operation, maintenance and cleaning;

- staff will be adequately trained and that training is kept up to date;

- records will be maintained concerning source of ingredients, formulations including details and source of all additives, date of manufacture, processing conditions and any date of dispatch, details of any transport and destination;

- water used in feed manufacture is of potable quality;

- machinery coming into contact with feed is dried following any wet cleaning process;

- condensation is minimised;

- sewage, waste and rain water is disposed of in a manner that ensures that equipment, ingredients and feed are not contaminated; and

- feed processing plants, storage facilities and their immediate surroundings are kept clean and free of pests.

Raw materials of animal and plant origin

Raw materials of animal and plant origin should be obtained from reputable sources, preferably with a supplier warranty. Monitoring of ingredients should include inspection and sampling of ingredients for contaminants using risk based protocols. Laboratory testing, where undertaken, should be by standard methods. Ingredients should meet acceptable, and if applicable, statutory standards for levels of pathogens, mycotoxins, herbicides, pesticides and other contaminants which may give rise to human health hazards.

In order to control the spread of specific pathogens it may be necessary to specify, for any given ingredient, the country and species of origin and any treatment process used prior to purchase. Care should be taken to preserve the identity of such material after procurement to facilitate any tracking that might be required.

Minerals, supplements, veterinary drugs and other additives

Minerals, supplements, veterinary drugs and other additives should be obtained from reputable manufacturers who guarantee the concentration and purity of ingredients and provide instructions for correct use.

General management of feeds

Feeds should be stored so as to prevent deterioration and contamination.

Processed feeds should be separated from unprocessed ingredients.

Containers and equipment used for transport, storage, conveying, handling and weighing should be kept clean.

Equipment should be ?flushed’ with ?clean’ feed material between batches of different formulations to control cross contamination.

Pathogen control procedures, such as pasteurization or the addition of an organic acid to inhibit mould growth, should be used where appropriate and results monitored.

Apart from feeds fed moist, such as silage and by-products of brewing, ingredients and feeds should be kept dry to limit fungal and bacterial growth. This may necessitate ventilation and temperature control.

Waste and unsaleable material should be isolated and identified, and only recovered as feed after freedom from hazardous contamination has been assured. Waste and unsaleable material containing hazardous levels of veterinary drugs, contaminants or any other hazards should be disposed of in an appropriate and, where applicable, statutory manner and not used as feed. If freedom from hazardous contaminants cannot be established, the material should be destroyed.

Packaging materials should be newly manufactured unless known to be free of hazards that might become feedborne.

Labels should be consistent with any statutory requirements and should describe the feed and provide instructions for use.

Feeds should be delivered and used as soon as possible after manufacture.


All plant personnel should be adequately trained and should work to GMP standards.

[3] Application of Risk Analysis to Food Standards Issues, Report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation, Geneva, Switzerland. 13-17 March 1995 (WHO/FNU/FOS/95.3).

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