The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) hosted its annual Feed Education Program, covering what the animal food industry can expect from U.S. federal regulators in 2022 and the importance of developing written corporate pandemic policies. In partnership with Feedstuffs, AFIA also named Kent Nutrition Group’s Mason, Mich., plant as its 2021 Commercial Dry Feed Facility of the Year.

“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard has been a wild rollercoaster ride,” said Gary Huddleston, AFIA’s director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs, on the confusion animal food companies have experienced recently in working to comply with federal workplace safety laws given the twists and turns between the U.S. courts and the Biden administration on levying the federal vaccine mandate on American businesses. “AFIA’s Feed Education Program is one way we are keeping our feed industry members abreast of this changing situation and other regulatory issues coming from U.S. regulatory agencies that could impact their businesses.”

The program discussed upcoming priorities for the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Labor and OSHA; the Food and Drug Administration’s animal food manufacturing facility inspection plans for 2022; upcoming educational opportunities from the AFIA; and why companies should have written corporate pandemic policies in place.

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“A written infectious diseases preparedness plan has many benefits,” said John Dillard, principal at OFW Law. “A written and clearly communicated plan to address infectious diseases, including COVID-19, in the workplace reduces absenteeism and supply and delivery interruptions, gets you ready for any future outbreaks and helps you avoid enforcement and fines.”

The 2023 AFIA Feed Education Program will take place Jan. 25 in Atlanta, Ga., during the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE). For more information, visit afia.org/events.