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Earth Animal’s Riverstone Facility Earns SQF Certification

All aspects of the food safety program have been audited and verified.

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(PRESS RELEASE) SOUTHPORT, CT — Following a comprehensive audit conducted in July, 2021, Riverstone, Earth Animal’s “craftory” that makes Dr. Bob Goldstein’s Wisdom Dog Food and other pet consumables, is now certified to the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Edition 9 for Pet Food Manufacturing. All aspects of the food safety program have been audited and verified to certify the rigorous food safety program requirements that support the internationally renowned benchmarking system, The Global Food Safety Initiative or GFSI.

“We have always focused on producing high-quality and healthy food, and now it is validated by SQF certification,” says Rafi Khan, chief operating officer at Earth Animal. “This achievement shows that processes during Wisdom food production are consistent and followed every time. With this knowledge, pet parents can be assured their companion animals are getting high-quality and healthy food consistently.”

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SQF certification consists of three steps, conducted by a certified auditor, in which the goal is to demonstrate thorough implementation of food safety and quality management systems. Riverstone’s food safety program follows the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Their ongoing safety measures and best practices include:

  • Separation of Raw Processing and Finished Goods sections in the facility, utilizing specialized water and air flow systems to eliminate contamination
  • Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) to assure proper design, monitoring, and control of manufacturing processes and facilities
  • Ingredient tracing to track all incoming raw ingredients through to the finished product with complete Lot
  • Standard operating procedures for sanitation, hazard analysis, and training
  • Test and Hold Procedure in which all product is held for shipment until negative microbial test results are received from a 3rd party lab. These results are published on the Earth Animal website for every Lot made.

Riverstone, located in the heartland of Maryland, features other programs and policies that further illustrate Earth Animal’s commitment to excellence and integrity. The facility employs a diverse, multi-ethnic staff, with more than 50 percent of leadership positions held by women. They pay a living wage, cover 90 percent of health insurance premiums, and offer a 401(k) match. Riverstone is a zero-food-waste facility, composting all floor scraps and excess ingredients, and it captures all grease waste for re-use in other markets.

More than 50 percent of the fruits and vegetables found in Wisdom Dog Food are made with “perfectly imperfects,” upcycling produce that is not pretty or perfect enough looking for grocery or restaurant, and the food contains only certified G.A.P. (Global Animal Partnership) meats.

“Obtaining our SQF certification is a great milestone in our evolution as a processor of safe and quality pet foods and treats,” says Kelly Raiser, general manager of Riverstone. “Preparing for this type of milestone takes several years – I have great pride in our team to have accomplished this certification – each of our team members knows and understands the steps we take to craft safe, quality products for companion animals and their families.”

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