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June 19, 2014

FDA’s new rule on sanitary transportation of Food

As diesel fuel prices continue to fall, the trucking industry is shifting its practices to conform to new FDA rules passed last month, intended to improve food safety in transportation.

Changes to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) now require carriers to inspect vehicles, establish written procedures, and keep records for the cleanliness of vehicles and equipment. Many carriers were already doing this voluntarily, including Kan-Haul, this simply takes industry best practices and puts them into law.

According to an article from Trucking News, the law already on the book from 1938 already implied some level of industry self-regulation requiring food safety, but this update takes it a step further, with a focus on preventive measures and more rigorous standards.

An author at Lexology has divided the new rule into three basic provisions:

  1. Separation and isolation of different food types & proper temperature control for certain foods

  2. Shippers to provide written instructions to carriers on proper conditions & inspection methods

  3. Carriers must maintain written records, written procedures & train employees accordingly

Many carriers have been following the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), which developed out the space program in the 1960’s and became the unofficial safety standard for food transportation thereafter. For these companies, the new rules won’t have a big impact, but less diligent companies will have to clean up their acts.

The motivation for the rule change has come with increased concerns about foodborne illnesses. Most federal  regulations have focus on the production & processing of food, or the handling at the consumer market. Federal regulators believe that this will ensure safety and sanitary conditions throughout the entire supply chain.

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