If you operate a facility that produces animal food, a person with PCQI qualification must manage and implement an animal food safety plan. In this article, ImEPIK will discuss what you need to know about PCQI for animal food production.

What is the FSMA Preventive Controls for Animal Food Rule?

The FSMA’s Animal Food Rule took effect in September of 2017. This rule requires animal food producers to follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and have a food safety plan containing risk-based preventive controls to prevent hazards. In addition, there must be procedures and processes in place for the oversight and management of preventive controls, including routine monitoring, corrective actions, verification of food safety protocols, and other such steps.

What is a PCQI for Animal Food?

A PCQI, or Preventive Controls Qualified Individual, is responsible for developing and implementing animal food safety systems using risk-based preventive controls. To become a PCQI, individuals often complete standardized training. However, some employees may have enough experience to qualify for the role.

Why Do I Need PCQI Training? 

Any business that packs, processes, manufactures, or holds food for consumption by animals must have a qualified PCQI on staff and preferably on premises at all times. Animal feed and pet food manufacturers, feed mills that are not part of farms, and holding facilities need a PCQI, as does any company required to register their facility under Section 415 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

What are the Responsibilities of a Trained PCQI? 

A person with PCQI training provides many different administrative services, including:

  • Developing and overseeing the development of the facility’s food safety plan
  • Validating preventive controls at the facility
  • Reviewing all relevant records and documentation
  • Continuously re-assessing and analyzing the food safety system
  • Evaluating deviations from the food safety plan

Does On-the-Job Experience Replace PCQI Training? 

In some cases, yes. If an employee has equivalent experience or training, they may automatically qualify as a PCQI and will not need additional training. However, it’s best to get trained so you can share your completion certificate should an FDA inspector ask for it.

Contact ImEPIK to Learn More About PCQI and FSMA Training 

At ImEPIK, we specialize in food safety. We offer full PCQI training for both individuals and organizations in the United States and Canada. This training helps you comply with FSMA. The FSMA’s Animal Food Rule aligns with the Human Food Rule, so the ImEPIK training for human food safety is also appropriate for animal food safety. Once you take the course, you can purchase the FSPCA’s Animal Food Manual to supplement what you’ve learned.

If you work in the animal food industry and are interested in FSMA training, chat with us online or call us at (866) 318-9855 to learn more about how your organization can benefit from 100% online food safety training.