quality standards ensuring safe dog food

We take the quality of our human grade pet food very seriously.

Our production plant

Our organic dog foods, cat foods, treats and supplements are made only from 100% human food grade ingredients. That means our safe cat food and dog food recipes are produced to the exact same standards as the foods you eat – in a plant that actually produces human foods like bakery mixes, right alongside our products.

In fact, our plant is registered and inspected by the FDA and meets SQF (Safe Quality Foods) level II standards for human food safety. We already exceed all of the proposed FDA guidelines, including HACCP food safety regulations and established GMP’s (Good Manufacturing Practices). So as you can see, pet food regulations are something we’re very passionate about and why you can count on us as being one of the top safe dog food brands in the industry..

Our suppliers

The Honest Kitchen’s Supplier Quality Expectations Manual acts as a code of conduct for our suppliers, and clearly outlines the high pet food safety standards we demand from every vendor we purchase from. All our suppliers are required to certify that their facilities and products meet the standards outlined in the manual, which are verified via third party or THK audits.

To further enhance our dog food regulations, we also require each and every supplier to provide us with a signed ‘Human Food Grade Guarantee’ and ‘Statement of Quality and Integrity’, which are renewed annually.

Our suppliers all guarantee the following:

  • Human edible status from harvesting and throughout all handling, screening and cleaning, through delivery to our human-food plant
  • Statement of Country of Origin
  • Adherence to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs)
  • Non genetically modified or subject to engineered recombinant DNA technology
  • Verification that it is free of chemicals or adulterants
  • Post-harvest handling: verification that it is free of chemical preservatives such as Ethoxyquin
  • Sustainability and fair-trade attributes where applicable
  • A guarantee that the ingredient does not originate from China


Quality control

Our dehydrated dog food and cat food undergoes comprehensive testing as part of our Quality Control program to ensure we’re only producing safe dog food and cat food. Finished products are tested on a routine basis for:

  • Bacteria including: salmonella, E-coli, and listeria
  • Yeast and mold
  • Contaminants such as heavy metals & melamine
  • Verification of pH and proximates (protein, fat, fiber and moisture).
  • We also conduct regular random testing to ensure various other nutrient values for vitamins and minerals, are within the correct and guaranteed parameters.


The Honest Kitchen is also an approved member of Green America, which places a high priority on sustainability, green business and fair-trade. Businesses such as The Honest Kitchen, which bear the Green America Seal, operate in ways that support workers, communities, and protect the environment.

Taste tests, too!

In addition to all of these pet food regulations, we actually taste every ingredient that goes into our recipes, as part of our product development process, and our finished products are tasted as part of a standard human food organoleptic test, after production. If it’s not safe for us to eat, it’s not considered safe dog food.

Quality Control Spec Sheets

Pet food safety is important and we want to provide you with the knowledge and confidence that you’re serving safe cat food and dog food in your home. Here are our quality control spec sheets for all our food diets organized by Lot#:

Quality Control Spec Sheet: December 2017
Quality Control Spec Sheet: October 2017
Quality Control Spec Sheet: September 2017
Quality Control Spec Sheet: August 2017
Quality Control Spec Sheet: July 2017
Quality Control Spec Sheet: June 2017
Quality Control Spec Sheet: April 2017
Quality Control Spec Sheet: March 2017
Quality Control Spec Sheet: February 2017
Quality Control Spec Sheet: January 2017
Quality Control Spec Sheet: October 2014 - December 2016

Quality Control Program: Heavy Metal Screening

At The Honest Kitchen, we operate a Food Safety and Quality Assurance Program that’s been formulated in accordance with human food standards. In addition to routine nutritional analysis, water activity monitoring and robust pathogen testing for every batch, part of that program includes screening for heavy metal contaminants, which is conducted on a quarterly basis for every recipe we make.

Heavy metals can occur naturally in different sorts of ingredients, and the FDA has not established any tolerance levels for foods in the USA. Therefore, we follow internationally recognized human food standards for maximum tolerance levels of heavy metals, from several different food safety agencies around the world based on the type of product and ingredients it contains:

  • European Union Commission Regulation 1881/2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs
  • Codex Alimentariius International Food Standards (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States, World Health Organization (Revised 2016)
  • Health Canada Government of Canada Maximum Levels for Various Chemical Contaminants in Foods
  • Australia, New Zealand Food Standards Code Standard 1.4.1 Contaminants and Natural Toxicants
  • Food Safety Authority of Ireland Commission Regulation 488/2014 Maximum levels of Cadmium in Foodstuffs

Beginning in 2017, as part of The Honest Kitchen’s commitment to transparency, the results of our quarterly heavy metal screening for all recipes are published on our web site and updated as each new batch of results is received.

Quality Control - Heavy Metal Screening: Q2 2017
Quality Control - Heavy Metal Screening: Q3 2017