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AAFCO Announces Common Food Index, Seeks Feedback From Pet Industry

Glenn Polyn//May 3, 2023//

AAFCO Announces Common Food Index, Seeks Feedback From Pet Industry

Glenn Polyn //May 3, 2023//

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Press release: AAFCO

In an effort to open up dialogue and facilitate best practices, The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is instituting a new Common Food Index (CFI) and implementing a process by which items may be added for consideration by stakeholders and the public. The CFI is a repository of common foods that may be appropriate for use in animal food and serves as a tool for use during review of ingredients on an animal food label, providing harmonization and transparency. 

“Our intention in creating the Common Food Index is to aggregate historically safe items, with a broad consensus, that can serve as a trusted resource to animal food manufacturers and consumers,” said Austin Therrell, executive director of AAFCO. “To be clear, the CFI is not a substitute for the AAFCO process for new feed ingredient definitions, which remains clearly delineated in the Official Publication.” 

Common foods are defined as food items commercially available and suitable for use in animal food but are not defined by AAFCO, including but not limited to certain whole seeds, vegetables, or fruits. Common food for animals may include common human foods that are known to be safe for the intended use in animal food. Manufacturers are responsible for determining whether a common food is safe and has utility for its intended use prior to commercial distribution as animal food. 

The initial Common Food Index consists of 72 items. AAFCO’s subcommittee of experienced ingredient definition and label reviewers assessed and narrowed this first list to the most common and well-known ingredients. AAFCO encourages stakeholders such as veterinarians, animal nutritionists, consumer groups and the general public to review the initial index and provide feedback by June 2, 2023.