Is your raw dog food made using human grade meat as per DEFRA regulations?

YES, as per our DEFRA approval we cannot use anything less than human grade meats. 

We are often asked if our products are made using human grade meats. There seem to be conflicting answers to this online and speculation on social media. The answer, in short, is YES, but let me take a minute to fully explain this. I will clarify this and a little about how heavily regulated pet food manufacture is in this post. 


As stated in the Guidance on Regulation (EC) 1069/2009 and accompanying implementing Regulation (EC) 142/2011, enforced in England by the Animal By-Products (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2011, states:

“Article 10 of Regulation (EC) 1069/2009 defines Category 3 animal by-products (ABPs) material as low risk. This includes parts of animals that have been PASSED for human consumption in a slaughterhouse but which are NOT intended for human consumption, either because they are not parts of animals that we normally eat or for commercial reasons.”

So in Layman’s terms, this means that YES our products can only be made using meats passed fit for human consumption and nothing less. No reputable manufacturer should ever be using anything less. It is simply not allowed!  The moment it’s labeled as being delivered to us it is then classed as Category 3 types of meat. This simply means that we cannot sell our meats for human consumption. Every product has to be labeled as “not for human consumption – Pet Food Only”. This is following Food Chain safety. This means that once a product has become an animal by-product, it must not re-enter the human food chain. 

We can only buy from licensed abattoirs. If they are not DEFRA approved we simply cannot let it enter our factory. We are strictly regulated and work very closely with our Animal Health (Trading Standards) team and vets from APHA (Animal and plant health agency aka DEFRA). The both regularly visit us and work together with us to ensure our high standards are kept that way.

All of this then leads to how strict we have to be in the factory. Our products all have to be sent off for regular microbiological testing. As per our approval, we have to test for Salmonella and Enterobacteriaceae. Should any test come back positive for either of these we would have to dispose of the product immediately. So far in almost three years, we have a clean bill of sampling! We have to keep strict traceability records to honour this. We know exactly where our meats come from and exactly where it goes too. Our traceability is better than any supermarkets, we can trace a single batch right down to the door number and the day it was delivered to the customer. 

We are very transparent here at NDD and regularly post pictures on our Facebook page of the raw products and inside the plant. Cleanliness is also a huge deal for us here. Its also another part of our plant approval. Every machine is cleaned in between batches to avoid cross-contamination, we keep cleaning records of every item in the factory, and also make sure our freezers are regularly cleaned and maintained. Staff is more than adequately trained in all aspects of our approval requirements. This enables them to fully understand and support us. They are also very knowledgeable on raw feeding too!

I hope this explains in a little more depth about us and how we much we do care about our products and customers. It is very important that we adhere to the strict rules that are put in place and still be able to provide you all with a great quality product.