The industry is struggling to cope with the rising number of recalls.
The Pet Food Industry Association (PFA) has warned that as many as 4.5 million pet food products could be recalled due to a variety of problems.
Pet food companies are facing a number of challenges, including food safety breaches, inadequate supply chain management, and supply issues, the association said in a report.
The PFA’s Pet Food Recall Action Plan (PRP) is now in its 12th year and it has recorded more than 6.8 million recalls in the past three years.
A pet food product can cause problems with allergies and other health conditions.
The majority of recalls are due to food containing gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye, as well as milk products, cheese, meat, poultry, eggs, fish and shellfish.
The most common food ingredient is corn, which can cause digestive problems.
There have been more than 2,500 recalls in 2017.
The industry has said the new food safety legislation in New Zealand will help prevent food recalls.
“This is a new law, and it’s really important that people take advantage of it,” said PFA CEO Nicky O’Keefe.
The country has just passed the Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA) which is expected to help reduce recalls.
It will be up to individual manufacturers to set the maximum allowable limit of gluten content in food, and the minimum allowable level of milk, butter and meat.
The legislation also includes new provisions to prevent food manufacturers from failing to comply with Food Safety New Zealand regulations.
“The PFA has been working closely with industry stakeholders in this area and has made a number very important recommendations,” said Mr O’Keefe.
“We’re really keen to see that all of the legislation that’s being debated comes into place and that people are aware of these issues.”
The Petfood Industry Association is calling for a review of the FSMA.
“In the short term, the FSSA is great for the pet food industry, but it is not the answer to our food recalls,” Mr O