Why Inspections Matter. The TFP Nutrition Affair

Why Inspections Matter. The TFP Nutrition Affair

On November 16, 2023, TFP Nutrition, which is known as Texas Farm Products Company, informed its customers nationwide, and in Puerto Rico, that the company’s pet food products. This action was taken because the Texas State Chemist Office found Salmonella in the pet food, so they ordered stores to stop selling it.

About TFP Nutrition: Evolution from Fertilizer to Pet Food

In 1930, M.S. Wright established TFP as a fertilizer factory. Later, in the same decade, they started selling agricultural feed. By 1978, TFP expanded into making pet food, boasting a modern pet food plant to produce dog food and cat food.

TFP is still a family-owned business, even today.

The FDA inspected TFP’s manufacturing facility four times between 2010 to 2020. Each time, they gave the plant a positive result, meaning no action was indicated.

TFP’s 2022 Salmonella Incident

In December 2022, TFP recalled a batch of H-E-B Texas Pets Indoor Complete Dry Cat Food after Salmonella in a sample was found. Their investigation showed some unusual clumping issues during production.

When the machine shut down due to processing issues, operators had to clean it out with water. When this happened this uncovered some food surfaces to the air. The FDA monitored the recall, but Texas reviewed the firm’s updated Food Safety Plan and collected samples for Salmonella.

TFP’s 2023 Pet Food Recall and FDA Inspection

In October 2023, TFP recalled two batches of dog food due to Salmonella positive test results. Later the recall was expanded to include more products. In December 2023, the FDA initiated an inspection of TFP’s facility and found a few issues:

  • The cleaning failed to stop bacteria from getting into the finished products from raw ingredients.
  • Four Salmonella were found in a factory environment during September and October.
  • The factory didn’t have a good system to check problems.
  • Inadequate hazard analysis in grain products
  • Eleven samples had too much aflatoxin, a harmful substance.
  • Six customers complained about mold in TFP’s pet food.

As a general policy, the FDA doesn’t comment on ongoing investigations.

Ensuring Pet Food Safety: The Bottom Line

Testing the finished products is the least efficient way to know if the factory is clean. After the December 2022 recall, Texas only did random checks, which was not sufficient to make sure everything was safe. This was a dangerous problem, risking the health of pets and their owners.

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