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Food and Feeds


FDA and its state partners inspected 100 pet food facilities, mainly “for cause”


Health Implications of Feeds for Animals and People

The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine

  • monitors and establishes standards for animal feed contaminants, including those in pet food
  • approves safe food additives for animal food use
  • manages the medicated feed and pet food programs.

Animal food includes both livestock feed and pet (companion) animal food. Depending on its intended purpose or use, an ingredient or additive could be classified as a food additive, a generally recognized as safe substance, a new animal drug, or a color additive.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations require that all animal foods, like human foods, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled. In addition, canned pet foods must be processed in conformance with the low acid canned food regulations to ensure the pet food is free of viable microorganisms.

In determining if a product marketed as a food product is actually a drug, the agency considers the product’s intended use. If the intended use is to treat or prevent a disease, then the product is a drug:

▪ a product intended to make a cat’s urine more acidic to maintain urinary tract health.

▪ a product intended to improve joint function in an arthritic dog.

An animal food additive is generally intended to supply nutrients, add aroma/flavor, aid stability, or alter a food’s characteristics. Substances that alter the characteristics of a food may include emulsifiers, sequestrants, anti-caking agents, or enzymes. Also, substances used in the processing, packaging, packing, or transporting of animal food may be food additives based on indirect or incidental contact with animal food.

Food additives must be approved by the FDA prior to their use in foods and after approval, they must be used in accordance with a specific food additive regulation.

The agency and its state partners inspected 100 pet food facilities (FDA 35 – States 65) in fiscal year (FY) 2022, mainly “for cause”, because a consumer or other complaint led the agency to believe a safety issue was present in the facility, warranting an immediate inspection.

Of the issues found, three categories stood out as top food safety observations:

  • Hazard analysis (21 CFR 507.33)
  • Preventive controls [21 CFR 507.34(a)(1)]
  • Sanitation controls [21 CFR 507.34(c)(2)].
List of food additives permitted in feed and drinking water of animals

Here is a list of food additives permitted in feed and drinking water of animals:

  • Acrylamide-acrylic acid resin
  • Aminoglycoside 3′-phospho- transferase II
  • Ammoniated cottonseed meal
  • Ammoniated rice hulls
  • Ammonium formate
  • Anhydrous ammonia
  • Condensed animal protein hydrolysate
  • Benzoic acid
  • Feed-grade biuret
  • 1,3-Butylene glycol
  • Calcium periodate
  • Calcium silicate
  • Feed-grade calcium stearate and sodium stearate
  • Choline xanthate
  • Chromium Propionate
  • Crambe meal, heat toasted
  • Diammonium phosphate
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Disodium EDTA
  • Ethoxyquin in animal feeds
  • Ethoxyquin in certain dehydrated forage crops
  • Ethyl cellulose
  • Ethylene dichloride
  • Fermented ammoniated condensed whey
  • Formaldehyde
  • Formic acid
  • Gamma-linolenic acid safflower meal
  • Gamma-linolenic acid safflower oil
  • Guanidinoacetic acid
  • Condensed, extracted glutamic acid fermentation product
  • Hemicellulose extract
  • Hydrogenated corn syrup
  • Hydrolyzed leather meal
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • Iron ammonium citrate
  • Iron-choline citrate complex
  • Lignin sulfonates
  • Marine microalgae
  • Menadione dimethylpyrimidinol bisulfite
  • Menadione nicotinamide bisulfite
  • Methyl esters of conjugated linoleic acid (cis-9, trans-11 and trans-10, cis-12-octadecadienoic acids)
  • Methyl esters of higher fatty acids
  • Methyl glucoside-coconut oil ester
  • Mineral oil
  • Natamycin
  • Feed grade sodium formate
  • Sodium nitrite
  • Petrolatum
  • Odorless light petroleum hydrocarbons
  • Pichia pastoris dried yeast
  • Poloxalene
  • Polyethylene
  • Polyethylene glycol (400) mono- and dioleate
  • Polyoxyethylene glycol (400) mono- and dioleates
  • Polysorbate 60
  • Polysorbate 80
  • Poly(2-vinylpyridine-co-styrene)
  • Normal propyl alcohol
  • Pyrophyllite
  • Salts of volatile fatty acids
  • Selenium
  • Silicon dioxide
  • Sorbitan monostearate
  • Taurine
  • Verxite
  • Xanthan gum
  • Yellow prussiate of soda

Companies that manufacture, process, pack, or hold animal food for consumption in the United States, must register with the FDA, implement a food safety plan (hazard analysis and preventive controls), and comply with current good manufacturing practices (unless an exemption applies).


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