September 25th, 2015
Quality Control-First Hand
Listeria, Salmonella and E. coli have been some big topics this year in the pet industry. We would like to share our quality control procedures from a new Canine Caviar employee’s firsthand experience. With the responsibilities of Social Media Manager, Public Relations and Customer Service I am learning quite a bit about pet food.
Listeria, Salmonella and E. coli are living hot and cold bacteria that can be present in protein sources when not handled properly. Listeria and Salmonella are more commonly present during the production of the food where E. coli typically develops when the food is not stored correctly.
At Canine Caviar we take a series of precautions to ensure our consumers are receiving the best and safest product possible with no recalls in almost 20 years in this family owned business. I have seen firsthand how strict the quality control standards are and how contamination is avoided.
Our processing plants and each ingredient supplier must be USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) certified. Certifications must be renewed and approved annually. Canine Caviar receives copies of all test results and certifications. We also personally inspect the facility on a regular basis. This ensures our strict quality standards are met.
All of the ingredients for our products are tested before they are delivered to the processing plant and certified bacteria free. Once they reach our processing plant, all the ingredients are sent out to a third party to be tested again just to ensure the stability. Once the test results are in, the production process begins.I personally had the opportunity to visit our manufacturing facility here in California. I got to see the production process first hand from the beginning to the end. I saw everything from the ingredients on hold waiting for test results to the finished product being packaged and mechanically placed onto pallets for shipment.
There were strict dress codes for the facility for basic safety precautions. Long pants, shirts with sleeves, closed shoes, no jewelry, hair and beard nets, safety googles and hats. That was just to tour the facility! As we began to walk through I noticed all the workers also had on protective gloves.
The facility was very clean and organized by production stations. I was happy to find they were actually making Canine Caviar kibble as we were visiting. This was very exciting for me to see how they actually make our formula. We stopped several times thru the production line as they explained the process we were observing. Each time they were pulling samples of the product right off the line to have it tested. The mixing machine was HUGE! It holds 40,000 pounds of food. The mixing blade looked like it could turn up a field.
As the food was ready to go into the dryer we were handed a sample of the kibble, it was warm and soft almost like play dough right off the line. Out of curiosity I asked our owner Jeff if he had ever tasted the food. He ate a piece of the kibble right off the production line right then and there!
It was a great experience being able to see all the steps in making the product. They explained the cleaning process of the machines between each run. How detailed it is, how it eliminates the possibility of cross contamination and ensures just one protein is in the food for our pets with allergies. They also run the formulas through a metal detector from the processing all the way to the packaging and date code. Once the product is ready to ship, more samples are sent out for testing. Nothing leaves the plant floor until the test results come back.
Being a new Canine Caviar employee and having the opportunity to visit our processing plant, I can say for myself that I believe in this product. I personally have fed Canine Caviar to my dog her entire life. But having the opportunity to see the production first-hand I can confidently recommended Canine Caviar. Jeff Bakers dedication to nutrition and ensuring the processing plants strict quality control leaves me without any doubts Canine Caviar is simply the best.