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No Guesswork — Just the Facts

We create a lot of labels for bags and totes, along with license plates for pallets, lot numbers for production runs, and numbered seals on rail cars and trucks.

But why? Why are we so careful to accurately label products that we handle, store, or manufacture at D&D?

Part of the answer is labelling is the law. Federal agencies (FDA and USDA) and state agencies (for example, Ohio Department of Agriculture) share responsibility to ensure that animal food, including pet food, is “safe, wholesome, and labeled properly.

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Does a single ingredient product — like salt or corn gluten meal — require an ingredient label with a Guaranteed Product Analysis?

 

Ohio’s Grain, Feed and Seed Program monitors animal food, including pet food, to make sure label claims of protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and antibiotics are accurate.

Legitimate, accurate labels help protect and nurture human and animal life. Bad labels can kill.

 

Mislabeling

One of the most notorious examples of mislabeling involves ingredient adulteration with melamine, which is a white powder with high nitrogen content used in manufacturing plastic. Melamine is cheap and mixes well with certain protein ingredients such as wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate, so it blends right in and raises the apparent protein concentration and supposed quality of the product.

In 2007, pet foods containing melamine-adulterated wheat gluten led to one of the industry’s largest product recalls, but not before killing or harming many animals.

What goes on the label?

Although there can be variations in labeling regulations from state to state, overall there is general uniformity according to AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials), which breaks down labels into three types: Single ingredient product, commercial feed, and customer formula feed.

For example, the single ingredient product label must contain:

• Product name and its branded name, if any
• Purpose statement — “Single Feed Ingredient, “Feed Ingredient,” or “For Further Manufacturing of Feed”
• Guaranteed analysis statement
• Ingredient statement if the ingredient is not used as the product name
• Directions for safe and effective use and any required precautionary statements
• Manufacturer’s or distributor’s name and address
• Quantity or net weight statement

Attached to a bag or tote, the label is there so you can accurately identify the contents and know details about its manufacture and intended use. You should not have to look at the product itself, or touch it, or sniff it, or send it for chemical analysis or microscopy to know what it is.

So imagine a customer receiving a pallet from D&D…

It’s no problem if only 38 of the 40 bags on the pallet are labeled correctly, right? No big deal – we got most of them labeled. Right? Absolutely not!

That customer may break up our pallet of bagged product and send some bags into manufacturing, some to the warehouse, some onto a truck destined for the customer’s customer maybe a hundred miles away. And then the final customer stacks our bags with similar-looking bags from other suppliers.

However, because we labeled all our bags correctly, no matter where they go, anybody can identify each bag by its label, which tells its own story — what exactly is inside and how much, when and where it was filled, and which company did the work.

Then, if a customer, vendor, or regulatory official ever has any question about that product, we can provide valid answers. Both the product and the label reflect our Core Values in Action — Integrity Matters, Quality First, Customer-Focused.

More “Did You Know?”

Thanks for your interest! Please let us know other topics you’d like to learn about. Email claytong@ddingredient.com

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