An operation allows their family dog to run through the production site. Is this acceptable? If not, is it an autofail?
Section 2.1 (Production Site and Surroundings Assessment) requires the operation to assess the site(s) for “unusually high levels of animal and bird activity (e.g., migratory paths, nesting or feeding areas, presence of animal feces, large areas of animal tracks or burrowing, etc.)”. Having one domestic pet in the production site would NOT be considered an unusually high level of animal activity. Having several dogs would. It is not an autofail to have a dog in the production site. In the audit checklist in Section C, Premises, the operation will be assessed for potential hazards from adjacent areas and animal/bird activity. If an auditor were to notice the dog defecating in the field they may take off a point or two. If the person responsible cleaned it up and took care of the problem then the risk has been mitigated. There is also an autofail listed at the beginning of the audit checklist that states: “An immediate food safety risk is present (e.g. livestock/poultry slaughter activities) when product is produced, handled, packed, repacked, stored or held under conditions that promote or cause the product to become contaminated”. This would only be used if the auditor noticed that the person responsible didn’t clean up the feces and employees were harvesting the contaminated product.
Note: Dog feces is not as likely to harbour pathogens that have been found to be present in other animal species (e.g., cows, pigs, sheep, etc.).