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Pet Food Processing a Growing Plant Safety Concern

PHI Treatment and Plant Air Purification Touted as a Solution

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla., Dec. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the past few years a growing number of recalls involving contaminated pet food or treats have provided a stimulus for processors as well as government agencies to look at new options for safe, sanitized systems to treat pet food products prior to sale and consumption.

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing long-awaited rules to make pet food and animal feed safer, some processors are employing systems to add strategic intervention to treat products as well as provide a safer plant environment for workers. Standards are currently set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) to establish nutritional requirements for complete and balanced pet foods.

Rules proposed by the FDA would require those who sell pet food and animal feed in the United States, including importers, to follow certain sanitation practices and have detailed food safety plans.  All of the manufacturers would have to put individual procedures in place to prevent their food from becoming contaminated.

The rules would also help human health by aiming to prevent food-borne illnesses in pet food that can be transferred to humans. People can become sick by handling contaminated pet food or animal feed.

A very effective and safe method of pathogen control used in virtually every food field application, including beef, chicken, pork and fish as well as vegetables, grains, fruits, brine and marinades, water and ice, is Photohydroionization™.  PHI, for short, the process is a chemical-free, natural, green and environmentally friendly oxidation technology, which utilizes broad-spectrum ultraviolet light rays in conjunction with a catalytic target to produce hydro peroxides.

The PHI technology has been validated for control of Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia Coli O157:H7 and Staphylococcus aureus, as well as Mold Yeast and viruses.  All are considered potentially deadly contaminants for both humans as well as animals.

RGF Environmental Group of Riviera Beach, Florida, the U.S. patent holder for PHI-Cell® technology is aggressively marketing a PHI treatment tunnel system, designed to be placed at the end of the process line just prior to packaging along with plant air treatment systems. Already highly successful for meat, vegetables and fruits for human consumption, RGF officials say the systems are equally effective for the processing of pet foods.

"This modular tunnel is the most effective, state-of-the-art system that I have reviewed," said Dr. James Marsden, a national leading scientist in the field of food safety for the past 30 years.  "The PHI process does not affect the taste or appearance of the product and has tested at 99.9% surface microbial reduction, especially effective for pet food processors grinding organs, bones and small amounts of organic fruits and vegetables into raw products."

For a look inside the PHI treatment process, please go to

Hills Pet Nutrition, a world leader in the supply of high-end dry pet foods, has incorporated PHI technology into their plant air systems.  Testing is also underway for the direct treatment of product during processing.

Stella and Chewy's, a Wisconsin-based food processor, also utilizes RGF's air purification systems to reduce bacteria, mold spores and viruses with installations throughout the plant.

"We found that several meat processors, for example, have gained valuable marketing positions from employing a redundant application of plant air purification systems along with PHI treatment systems to limit cross contamination of pathogens and reduce employee illnesses," said Bill Svec, RGF Vice President of Water and Food Products.

For more information on PHI treatment technology and RGF products, please go to  or call 561-848-1826.

SOURCE RGF Environmental Group of Riviera Beach, Florida

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