Written by: Gary Huddleston | February 22, 2022
When I was a feed mill manager, one of my least favorite things to do was keeping up with all of the changing regulations that our facility had to comply with to manufacture feed. A necessary evil, regulations help us to make safe animal food, keep our workers safe, protect our environment and keep the public safe, but they certainly make life difficult for manufacturers at times.
One of my major responsibilities at the American Feed Industry Association is to keep up with the myriad regulations that affect animal food manufacturers and communicate those requirements to our members. We do that through various methods of communication throughout the year. One of those methods is through our Feed Education Program, held at the International Production & Processing Expo. We give a quick rundown of updates on the regulatory environment every year in a quick, 2-hour program.
This year’s program kicked off with an update on the Environmental Protection Agency from Christian Richter of the Policy Group. “The regulatory pendulum is swinging heavier and faster,” said Richter. “The aggressive regulatory agenda from 2021 will continue in 2022.”
I briefed attendees on what we can expect from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. On our OSHA watch list is:
Leah Wilkinson, AFIA’s vice president of public policy and education, also gave an update on recent Food and Drug Administration inspectional findings. The FDA will be moving to a “all-encompassing” inspection approach, visiting facilities only once, but covering multiple inspections, instead of five times. Keep an eye out for our upcoming Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance Preventive Controls (FSPCA) for Animal Food training which can help you be in compliance with the regulations.
The program finished up with a presentation on facility pandemic policy consideration by John Dillard of OFW Law. “A written infectious diseases preparedness plan has many benefits,” said Dillard. “A written and clearly communicated plan to address infectious diseases, including COVID-19, in the workplace reduces absenteeism and supply and delivery interruptions, gets you ready for any future outbreaks and helps you avoid enforcement and fines.”
If you missed the 2022 program, make plans to attend the 2023 program to keep up to date on the ever-changing regulatory environment. If you have questions about industry regulations, don’t hesitate to contact me or submit a comment below.