The North American Rendering Industry Code of Practice was developed by a task force convened by the rendering industry. The task force members represented a cross-section of the poultry, swine, and cattle packer renderers, independent renderers and protein blenders.
Feed safety related issues and biosecurity concerns in the United States and elsewhere in the world have highlighted the importance of continually evaluating and improving feed safety programs in order to enhance consumer confidence and facilitate domestic and global trade. The standards stipulated in this Code of Practice offer a basis for educational programs as well as recommended practices for APPI members, recognizing that processes and finished products are often unique.
After nine years of success with the Rendering Code of Practice (COP), and with 117 plants currently certified, the APPI Steering Committee has approved the first major revision of the program since the first plant was certified by APPI on November 29, 2005. The program remains voluntary, but there are many good reasons to participate.
This updated guidance, audit, and certification will:
- Align with the American Feed Industry Association’s (AFIA) Safe Feed/Safe Food (SF/SF) program so that one audit will receive both AFIA and APPI certification.
- Prepare plants to be in compliance with new feed regulations that will take effect in 2016 and beyond by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
- Offer a scoring system that will allow plants to benchmark their progress and show specific opportunities for improvement from each audit.
- Put the Rendering COP on a path to global recognition which should be beneficial for marketing and sales.
AFIA has re-written their SF/SF program, FSC36, to be more practical so that it can be used for both feed companies and renderers. Renderers will use FSC36 as the primary document for certifying both in SF/SF and the Rendering Code of Practice (COP). The companion document for rendering explains the few exemptions, offers further explanation for rendering in some sections, and provides additional auditor guidance for rendering where needed. For example, the FSC36 document discusses mixers for feed manufacturers whereas the rendering document discusses cookers for rendering. Many parts of the program such as elements of hazard analysis and building a food safety plan, which will be required in new FSMA regulations, are the same for both industries and are presented in FSC36 without repeating in the rendering document.
Receiving AFIA SF/SF Certification
To receive AFIA SF/SF certification, plants should:
- Go the SQF website: www.sqfi.com
- Request an audit
- Pay a fee of $250
Receiving APPI COP Certification
APPI COP certification will come automatically after this audit is complete. Renderers desiring APPI Rendering COP certification only, and not SF/SF certification, may bypass SQF and request an audit directly from our third-party auditor, Validus (Brian Bennett, Director of Feed Auditing Services, Phone: 866-320-7751, Direct Dial: 571-830-6603).
However, the auditor will use the same FSC36 guidance and audit points as the SQF route. Bypassing SQF will save the SQF registration fee, but auditing fees and travel costs will be the same. Renderers may also certify plants (APPI only, not SF/SF) by using the old COP audit (revised November, 2010) for the first few months of 2015 to accommodate a smooth transition (call Validus for this option also). Eventually, there will be a choice of at least three auditing bodies through the SQF registration. All auditors are now being trained at a much higher level than when we started in 2005, so even an audit with the old form will be more rigorous than in the past. Validus auditors were recently trained on FSC36 and the rendering companion guidance.
The good news is that many of the things required in FSC36 have been part of our Rendering COP all along, but they are organized differently in FSC36. Most of the new elements in FSC36 are most assuredly going to be required by FSMA. The new FSC36 guidance along with the rendering companion will prepare plants for FSMA compliance. The FSC36 guidance is in a very usable format with each element having a description of what’s required, a description of what it means in a plant (implementation guidance), and what an auditor should look for (auditing guidance). The program provides an objective scoring system, a rating system, expected timelines for corrections, and observations made by auditors to aid improvement. As we’ve always said with the Rendering COP, you should read the guidance and go through the checklist before arranging the third-party audit. We’ve never had a plant fail yet—and that’s due to excellent preparation.
FSC36 is also a foundation for AFIA’s FSC32 (GFSI benchmarked Safe Feed/Safe Food) and FSC34 (GFSI benchmarked pet food manufacturing) which have more stringent requirements and are aimed at the global market. Renderers can pursue these certifications through AFIA if desired, and FSC36 is a great first step, but our emphasis will be to get all members certified on FSC36, either through SQF or APPI.
The FSC36 SF/SF Guidance Documents and Checklists
The FSC36 SF/SF guidance documents and checklists are available on AFIA’s Safe Feed/Safe Food website.
For detailed information on SQF registration and certification for FSC36 SF/SF, please use the FSC36 SFSF SQF Reliance System User Guide – Registration to Certification.
The registration process is much improved over last year and the user guide is easy to follow. AFIA newsletters, Safe Feed/Safe Food Updates, offer additional information and updates every two weeks:
NARA, along with AFIA and other industry representatives, have been asked to help FDA write compliance guidance and an educational curriculum for FSMA that will be used to train FDA inspectors. With heavy industry involvement, the FSC36 materials described above will be the backbone of these FDA-endorsed materials. FDA is putting some resources into developing educational modules with slides and other aids. These materials will be available to industry in the future, and should be very useful in future Rendering COP training sessions.
- SQF = Safe Quality Food programs from the Safe Quality Foods Institute: www.sqfi.com. SQF is an administrative body managing certification programs.
- GFSI = the Global Food Safety Initiative: http://www.mygfsi.com/. The GFSI specifies details for certification programs to be recognized by others.
- AFIA = the American Feed Industry Association
- APPI = Animal Protein Producers Industry
- NARA = North American Renderers Association
- FSC36 = Feed Safety Certification program #36
- SF/SF = Safe Feed/Safe Food (a feed certification program from AFIA)
- COP = Code of Practice (a rendering certification program from NARA/APPI)