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This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is intended to help you learn more about SAFE.

For the associated response to the question, simply click on the title of the question.

Perhaps the question you’re asking is not present in the list below.
If this happens, do not hesitate to ask your question.


01. What is laboratory diet ?

These are standard diets produced in batches of 1 ton minimum. We provide a permanent stock of standard diet, so they are available at all times and can be supplied quickly after ordering. These diets contain mainly vegetables (cereals and legumes).

02. Which animals is your diet meant for ?

Our products are for your rats, mice, dogs, primates, guinea pigs, zebrafishs, rabbits
They are suitable for animals raised in conventional medium, heteroxenic, gnotoxenic, transgenic, axenic and germ-free.
For other species or statutes, please contact our SAFE team.

03. The lot I buy today, will it reproducible tomorrow ?

Yes. Invariant formulas, constant and fixed ingredients sourcing, a well-practiced manufacturing process, it is the SAFE quality.

04. Are The SAFE formulas invariant ?

Yes, the SAFE formulas do not change. There is no optimization to formulas based on the cost of raw materials. With our quality charter which imposes strict criteria for raw materials, we guarantee the quality and consistency of our diets. Moreover the variability is controlled as well as the possible contaminants (moisture, specific weight, mycotoxins,…).

05. What is a control diet ?

A control diet is a lot along with a control statement. This lot is delivered to you only if all the points of the sheet are consistent (pre-delivery inspection).
This sheet is approved by the quality controller and validated by the Quality Manager. This is the assurance that the diet you use meets good laboratory practice which require regular analysis of diets. The control diets are in a double packaging and a guaranteed shelf life of 6 months.
For an example of a control sheet, do not hesitate to ask us here.

06. What does SAFE do to ensure the quality of its products and services ?

SAFE is 10 firm commitments:

  • 1. An international site dedicated exclusively to the manufacture of diet for laboratory animals,
  • 2. Guaranty of no cross-contamination with other diets (for farm animals, zoo and pet),
  • 3. Feed safety and veterinary control,
  • 4. Compliance with GLP and GMP requirements,
  • 5. Well-practiced traceability,
  • 6. Constant and selected ingredients, from Quality Lines, based on “baby food” straw cereals,
  • 7. Consistent feeds, free of unwanted substances for biomedical studies (type drug, dyes, preservatives, flavourings),
  • 8. Formulation, manufacture of custom diets and Purified Diets,
  • 9. Scientific and analytical support of an international research centre,
  • 10. Bag by bag irradiation process.

07. Is it possible to meet you ?

We are present in the French, European and International trade fairs:
AFSTAL (France), GV-SOLAS (Germany), BCLAS (Belgium), SGV (Switzerland), SBCAL (Brazil), IAT Congress (England), …
It is also possible to request an interview on your premises with a staff member of SAFE.
We also invite you to visit our manufacturing site, audit us, to contact-us.


08. What is the maximum shelf life of the diets ?

You must consume the diets preferably before the date indicated on the labels.

  • 6 months for the diets
  • 1 year for feeds packaged in bags
  • 2 years for vacuum-packed diets

– bags must be stored in good conditions;
– temperature below 20°C;
– humidity less than or equal to 50%;
– clean area;
– absence of pests;
– protected from direct light;
– strong variations of temperature and humidity, especially above these values ​​will accelerate the breakdown of the diets and reduce their lifespan.

09. What is the difference between an autoclavable diet, standard diet and an irradiated diet ?

  • Autoclaving destroys some vitamins and amino acids. To offset this disadvantage, autoclavable diets are supplemented with vitamins and amino acids. The diets are packed in double-skinned, autoclavable paper bags that allow steam to penetrate easily.
  • A standard diet is not sterilized.
  • An irradiated diet is a sterilized diet but has not undergone heat treatment in order to best preserve its nutritional properties.

10. Why irradiate bag by bag ?

SAFE products are irradiated individually, bag by bag. We refrain ourselves from irradiating an entire palette as this practice involves applying a heterogeneous radiation dose in order to attain the minimum target value in the heart of the pallet.

11. What is a phytoestrogen ?

Phytoestrogens are non-steroidal compounds naturally produced by plants (genistein, daidzein, isoflavones, coumestrol, …). Their molecular structure is similar to estradiol (17β-estradiol) which gives them the ability to cause estrogenic or anti-estrogenic effects. In mammals, it is possible that these compounds affect the physiology, the development of cancer, atherosclerosis, the calcium phosphorus balance and behaviour.
Standard diets are mainly composed of natural ingredients, this compound is naturally present in large quantities in certain plants, this can be problematic in certain areas of research. Soybean meal is one of the natural ingredients that contains isoflavones. Two primary isoflavones are genistein and daidzein. Alfalfa meal also contains coumestrol.

12. Does SAFE offer phytoestrogens free feed ?

The term “without” or “free” implies the total absence of phytoestrogens. This means that we rule out any diet consisting of natural plant ingredients. Even a reconstituted diet from purified materials can reasonably claim to this status only after a thorough analysis. Nonetheless, SAFE offers diets that exclude soybean and alfalfa meal.
The D40, D30, D131 and 150 diets are low isoflavones, and contain only small amounts of phytoestrogens. It is therefore possible to conduct studies with a standard diet low in phytoestrogens.

13. Is it possible to obtain samples of diets, geldiets, bedding and enrichment ?

SAFE can send you samples of standard diets, geldiets, bedding and enrichment such as its hygiene products.
You can make a request here.

14. Where can I find technical data sheets for your products ?

Whether it’s a standard diet, a gel diet, a bedding or an enrichment, you can view a summary of information available online or download the sheet in PDF format.

15. What are your delivery times for standard diets ?

– 7 working days upon receipt of your order, to be sent exclusively to commande@safe-diets.com
– It is possible to speed up the procedure if the schedule allows it. This arrangement may result in additional costs to be confirmed with the ADV service.
– Refrigerated transport on request.
Contact us for international deliveries.

16. What quantity of diet to give to my animals ?

The ration depends on the species, age, physiological state and environment of the animal.
The standard consumption is given for general information purposes on the diet data sheet.


17. What is a custom diet ?

Custom diets are custom-processed on request. These diets are formulated to suit your needs and goals. They can be reconstituted from purified ingredients (Purified diets), based on natural ingredients (such as a standard diet), or be formulated based on a standard diet by adding / removing compounds.
We can add an ingredient supplied by the customer to each of these custom diets.
We make about 600 differents diets per year, the basic formula that you need is probably already created.
We can produce AIN formulas on demand.

18. What is a purified diet ?

A purified diet uses purified ingredients such as amino acids, proteins (casein), sugars (sucrose, starch), cellulose…
These purified ingredients contain very few contaminants, which is essential for some tests.
The purified diets are reproducible at will.

19. What guarantees does SAFE provide for its custom diets ?

Each formula has its own and unique number. The individual number is guaranteed to reproduce the same formula years later.
When we make a diet, the formula number is the first link that enables tracing all the stages of production.
All production data is kept for 12 years.
Samples of raw material and workmanship are retained for 2 years.

20. Can SAFE add test molecules to diets ?

Yes, we can add your test compounds or an ingredient to a diet. This is a common method to demonstrate an effect, a dose. When adding the compounds to a diet one must meet certain important safety rules for operators and the compounds themselves.
For more information, please contact our team of custom diets.

21. Why must I contact the ADV service ?

Communication by telephone or mail with our customer service can clarify and supplement the information that you may have obtained on our website or in the literature. In addition it will give you the assurance to choose the diet that best meets your needs. Even a simple phone call is confidential. If necessary we can arrange a formal agreement of confidentiality.

22. What information do you need to design a custom diet ?

A quote request form is available online at this link. The first question to ask is “why is this diet necessary?”. Then we need to know for whom is this diet intended (species, age, duration of the test, …).
The more information you provide the better we can design a diet tailored to your needs. Whenever possible, avoid subjective information (such as low, normal, high), as these terms have different meanings depending on your goals. Researchers, should you intend to base yourself on an existing formula or article, please provide the elements so that we can use them for you.
Do also let us know if the diet must be irradiated (10 kGy, 25 kGy or 40 kGy) and the desired packaging.
Please contact us upon demand.

23. What are your rates for custom diets and how to order ?

The price depends on the formula you want, the ingredients, the quantity and the final form (granules or powder).
It is therefore recommended to request a quote tailored.
If you are already a SAFE customer and you know the product code, contact the custom diet services team on +33 (0) 3 86 53 76 94 or write to customdiets@safe-diets.com

24. I have not received my order confirmation !

In order to have proof that we have received your order, it must be sent to the email address commande@safe-diets.com. You will then receive an automatic reply in ‘no reply’, confirming the good support of your purchase order.
For any requests for additional information relating to your order, you can then contact us by writing on this same email or by phone at + 33(0)3 86 53 76 90.

25. What are your delivery times for custom diets ?

15 working days on an average. Additional 10 business days if the diet is irradiated.
It is possible to accelerate the procedure if the production schedule allows, this arrangement will generate an additional cost to be defined with the custom diets team to contact here.

26. What is the shelflife of custom diets ?

We recommend you follow good practices for these sensitive products (storage at 4°C maximum, see Fullerton et al J Nutr. 112:567-573, 1982).

To avoid risk and to facilitate the management of these products, use the custom diets before the date indicated on the label:

  • Purified diet (especially high fat) non-vacuum = 4 months
  • Special diet based on standard feed = 6-8 months depending on the diet
  • Special diet in a vacuum = 12 months
  • Gel diets = 12 months

According to the diet, it may be possible to freeze it to -20°C to -80°C so as to extend its use.
It is possible to add to the special diet a highly perishable commodity, which implies a shorter lifespan.

27. How to sterilize diets that do not withstand autoclaving ?

Generally, we recommend you to irradiate diets instead of autoclaving. Radiation doses of 10 kGy, 25 kGy or 10 kGy are possible. Depending on your needs, the products can be vacuum packed.

We also recommend vacuum for all fatty or oxidable diets to avoid excessive formation of oxidation products. Our customer service can help you determine if your formula is suitable for irradiation or autoclaving.

Irradiating a product is also not without consequences (especially on vitamins), it is recommended to consider this factor so that the special irradiated diet corresponds to your needs.


28. Is it possible to order a custom SAFE diet that I've seen in a publication so as to quote it in my own article ?

Some custom diets are standard diets, when the formulas number is published, it is probably not considered confidential by the user. It can be challenging to find a formula without its number.
In this case, you should call our team of custom diets to be sure about the confidentiality rules of the formula in question.

29. Can SAFE make a diet manufactured by another laboratory ?

Yes. Provide us with the information you have, preferably the complete formula, then we can assess our ability to make this product.

30. Are you accredited with "Research Tax Credit" ?

Yes, we can carry out, on your account, technological tests, designing systems to meet your specific protocols, help you define a protocol for diet manufacturing and technological parameters to measure and set the diet variable in your studies.
Our accreditation is available in line.

31. How do I cite a SAFE product in a scientific publication ?

Include a description and product name as per the examples below. For special diets, you can specify the number and version of your formula.

  • Mice Were Maintained 10 days on minimum phytoestrogen diet 150 (SAFE, Augy, France, www.safe-lab.com)
  • The obesity induced by feeding WAS SAFE 235 HF high fat diet with 45% of energy from fat (SAFE, Augy, France, www.safe-lab.com)
  • Were rats fed purified SAFE Vitamin A Deficient Diet (U8958A02R Revision 157, SAFE, Augy, France, www.safe-lab.com)

Including this information in your article allows your readers to quickly obtain information on the diet used.
Also your article will be referenced in line on our page ‘Scientifc Articles‘.

Another question? A problem?