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The European Feed Manufacturers Guide (EFMC)

The European Feed Manufacturers Guide (EFMC) is a Community guide to good practice by the feed industry. Click here for the guidelines.
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The European Feed Manufacturers Guide (EFMC) is a Community guide to good practice by the feed industry.

The EFMC helps to ensure the safety of feed for food producing animals and of food stemming from those animals and designed for human consumption through the implementation of Good Manufacturing Practice during the purchase, handling, storage, processing and distribution of compound feed for food producing animals in accordance CODEX Code of Practice on Good Animal Feeding and the requirements laid down in the EU General Food Law (Regulation (EC) No 178/2002).

Good Hygiene Practices

Section 3 of the European Feed Manufacturers Guide deals with good hygiene requirements. The following elements are listed within the community guide:

Control of Contaminants and Carry-over

The control procedures put in place to protect incoming and finished feed from contamination. The entire production process should be designed and operated to minimise the introduction of contaminants, ensure maximum permitted levels of undesirable substances (as laid down in regulation) are not exceeded; carry-over is considered (particularly in relation to additives). The control procedures put in place should protect incoming and finished feed from contamination and undesirable substances and should be overseen by trained personnel.


Additives and premixes must be mixed in an appropriate quantity and in a homogenous way following the manufacturers instructions to ensure that finished feed contains the quantity as specified.

Plant design, maintenance and personal hygiene

The buildings should be soundly constructed of durable materials and fully enclosed or proofed against pests and weather. Floors, walls and ceilings must be kept clean and in a good state. Doors should be soundly constructed, close fitted and kept closed other than for personal entry or inward or outward movement of feed. The buildings should be effectively lit and ventilated. Any dust extraction should be kept physically separated from areas used to store and dispatch finished feed and must not enter the clean area of the production process again. This is important as dust can contain potentially pathogenic microorganisms. In terms of the perimeter and grounds, there should be sufficient clean hard standing at entrances and exists to minimise the tracking of mud, effluent and other wet material by vehicles or personnel. External drainage must be installed where natural drainage is inadequate. All buildings should be surrounded by clear space where possible and regularly maintained. Waste must be collected in well defined area. Control measures must prevent the presence of domestic, feral and wild animals

Storage, Production Facilities and Manufacturing Equipment

Storage, production facilities and manufacturing equipment must be maintained in a clean, tidy condition and be free from accumulated waste. Layout, design and the operation of all facilities and equipment must ensure they:

  • Minimise the risk of error
  • Permit effective cleaning and maintenance
  • Minimise contamination and carry-over
  • Ensure dry condition and minimise condensation
  • Allow the disposal of sewage, waste and rain water without contamination
  • Allow the mixing of homogenous products. The dosing, weighting and transparent equipment for additives must be adapted to the level of concentration of the feed materials, feed additives and premixes to be weighed

Appropriate and regular checks of equipment must take place in accordance with written procedures. Any storage, production facility and equipment which is contaminated with Salmonella or has been used to handle, store of process contaminated feed beyond critical control points must be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and/or, if necessary, dried before being reused to handle, store or process feed. Feed having undergone decontamination must be stored separately from non-treated feed.

Feed storage areas, production facilities and manufacturing equipment must be free from of chemicals, chemical fertilisers, pesticides or other potential contaminants.

Procedures should be established to keep a minimum the proportion of out-of-date stocks by applying a careful stock rotation. Materials must be stored in a way that are clearly identifiable, and that their intake identification is easily visible. The effectiveness of the stock rotation must be monitored by the Feed Safety Manager.

A cleaning program must ensure that all storage facilities are completely emptied and regularly cleaned according to the type and condition of incoming or finished feed.

Compliance of off-site facilities for incoming and finished feed before putting on the market must be ensured. Third party stores must comply with an approved national and international guide of practice unless formally audited each year by the feed manufacturer.

Sieves, screens, filters and separators must be regularly checked for damages and their effective operation. Dust and waste from sieves, ventilators, separators etc. must be handled in a closed system to avoid contamination of incoming and finished feed.

Reasonable precautions must be taken against dust accumulation and other residual materials where incoming and finished feed are processed or stored. The company must define a dust management plan which should include procedures for cleaning and disinfection of the facilities and equipment. Specific measures must be defined for such feed additives and premixtures to minimise the impact of dust on the level of carry-over. This should include provisions regarding dust disposal or rework. Dust and waste should be removed by vacuum cleaning and not by compressed air.

Where air is used for conveying or cooling, there must be a regular evaluation of the risk of this air to become a vehicle for pathogens. Any necessary precautions to prevent this must be taken.

Intake and loading facilities must be designed and constructed to maintain the safety of incoming and finished feed. Contamination through weather, birds access etc. must be avoided.

Equipment must be subject to a programme of planned maintenance, in particular to avoid adverse effects on the feed safety and hygiene of working conditions. Records must be kept on the maintenance of all equipment critical to the production of safe finished feed:

Cleaning methods and material must be chosen depending on the characteristics of the business. Documented cleaning programmes must be established, based on risk analysis, to ensure maintaining the safety of incoming and finished feed at all times. In particular, attention should be bought to moist feed residues in cyclones and coolers. High risk areas of the plant require cleaning when shut down. Warm equipment moist feed should be cleaned when stopped even for a short time.

Any waste must be visually marked and promptly segregated to eliminate the likelihood of accidental or inadvertent use. Waste shall be collected or storage in dedicated waste containers. Waste containers must be covered where possible and stored away from incoming and finished feed storage or production areas. Waste must be disposed of legally at frequent intervals.

A pest control pan must be drawn up and contain active measures, including inspection, to control and limit pest activity throughout the part of the chain for which the feed business is responsible. Records of the pest control procedures must be kept. Pest infestations must be dealt with promptly and any actions taken must be compatible with feed products.

Personal hygiene should be ensured. There must be adequate washing facilities. Protective clothing must be worn in production and loading areas. There must be clear policies on smoking and eating and drinking on site. Staff must get appropriate hygiene training for the direct handling of incoming and finished feed and cleanliness of sampling equipment. A procedure must be developed establishing hygiene requirements for visitors, contractors and any other person on site.

Purchase, delivery, intake of incoming feed

The feed business must have a standard specification outlining the specific characteristics required for each incoming feed (including feed materials, feed additives and premixtures) being bought in. This specification should state when and to what extent deviations may be accepted. It should include: + Analytical characteristics of the incoming feed + The results of the risk analysis carried out for each incoming feed (e.g. product specification and monitoring program for undesirable substances) + The list of approve geographic origins and sources + The types of feeding stuffs in which their use is approved + Notes on any hazards or limitations on their use and any special characteristics of the incoming feed

The incoming raw materials delivered to the plant must be traceable and stored in dry, hygienic conditions, free from pests. Sampling and analysis of this incoming feed should be done in accordance with the control plan.

There must be a system of site allocation for safe storage (easily identifiable, no mixing with other feed additives, intake identification easily visible). In case of doubt on the identity of a product during storage (damaged packaging), a procedure must be established whereby the Feed Safety Manager must decide about the destination of the product (re-identification, clearance for use, disposal, etc.). Records must be kept about the action taken.

Water used as an ingredient in the manufacturing process must be suitable for animals. The conduits for water should be of an inert nature.

Feed materials, feed additives and premixtures that have been rejected by the Feed Safety Manager must be clearly identified and segregated from other materials in a manner which precludes their unauthorised used. Disposal of rejected feed additives and premixtures should be undertaken only after consultation with the manufacturer and/or supplier

Manufacturing process, storage and delivery of compound feed and premixes

There must be a trained employee designated responsibility of the production process.

A calibration plan outlining the required calibration accuracy, the frequency of calibration and the calibration reference standards must be established for all inspection, measuring and test equipment.

Additives must be incorporated in accordance with legal requirements. Where dosage silos are used for feed additives, the equipment must include adequate dosing and locking systems. Daily administrative documents must be kept on they types of feed manufactured; and the quantity of additives for the categories mentioned in the Additives Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003. Feed additives and premixes must be correctly added in accordance with product specifications.

A regular maintenance programme must ensure that the weighing equipment is kept clean and worn parts are replaced as necessary. The weighing equipment must be fit for purpose and easily cleanable; and the accuracy must be fit for the quantities of products to be weighed.

Cleanliness of the mixer is essential. Written procedures must exist for the examination of the mixer to ensure that wear of the equipment does not lead to build-up of residues when the mixer is emptied. Mixers must operate for a pre-set time, which tests have shown to be adequate in order to ensure the appropriate mixing of feedingstuffs and feed additives. The accuracy and efficiency of the mixing process must be regularly checked at intervals of not more than six months to ensure that feed additives are evenly dispersed throughout the mix.

Finished feed shall be cooled to ambient temperature to avoid in particular the risk of condensation during storage, which is a risk factor for microbiological (re)contamination. A written procedure must exist to ensure the regular cleaning of the cooler whenever dust exists. Air drawn into the cooler is a potential source of bacterial contamination. Therefore, it should as far as possible be drawn from clean areas of the mill, and in particular not be drawn from intake areas.

Metal detection equipment and magnets must be included in the processing systems where necessary and regularly checked for their effective operation. Records of the checks must be kept.

A procedure for the approval, handling and reuse of returns shall be established by the Feed Safety Manager.

Finished feed, which meets the specifications, must be stored in suitable packaging materials or containers. The finished feed must be kept in good hygienic storage facilities and only be accessible to persons who are granted an authorisation by the manufacturer. To reduce chances of contamination, trained personnel must carry out routine checks, eliminating, to the best of their ability, the presence of these undesirables.

The finished feed must be stored as to make it easily identifiable (product name, number, date and time of manufacture). The storage facilities must be cleared completely and cleaned on a regular basis. The cleaning procedures must follow a planned and recorded cleaning programme.

Finished feed packaging must meet either internal or customer specifications and be suitable for the means of delivery and transport used and the type of finished feed. The packaging must be designed to protect finished feed. The packaging as well as the delivery documents must be clear and unambiguous. All relevant legal information must be included on delivery documents or attached labels to the product packaging. Pallets must be clean and in good state and must be stored in a dry environment.

In order to avoid undesirable effects on the safety of the feed, the manufacturer must inform his customers about the storage conditions of the feed, if the nature of the compound feed and premixtures delivered should require this

Transport and delivery

The transport of incoming or finished feed must be made by using only hygienic vehicles and in compliance, where existing, with a transport guide or relevant transport sections of sectoral guides developed in accordance with Article 22 of Regulation (EC) No 183/2005.

To facilitate the traceability of finished products during or after transport, the individual load compartments used must be recorded. The feed manufacturer must develop a system for order taking and fulfilment to ensure that the customer receives the type of feed he ordered, that the feed is properly labelled in accordance with the legal requirements and that all measures have been taken to ensure the safety of the feed delivered.

All vehicles and containers, to be used for carrying feed, including those operated by third parties, should be inspected at the time of loading and found to be clean and, for the transport of dried feed, dry, in accordance with written procedures, before being used for the transport of products.

All vehicles used for the transport of incoming and finished feed must be subject to regular cleaning and disinfection programmes ensuring that these are in a clean state, with no accumulation of residual waste material

The full European Feed Manufacturers Guide (EFMC) can be found here.


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Animal Feed Production: Feed Quality

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