Understanding the New FDA Food Safety Transportation Rule

18 Jan 2017

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just introduced a new food sanitary transportation law recently in the U.S. as an element of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This new food rule demands that shippers and carriers ensure the food they are transporting stays at its proper temperature.

What the FDA Rule Entails

Any person who is involved in the transportation of either human or animal food either by rail or motor vehicle is responsible to follow this new rule. They are required to follow best sanitary transportation practices like cleaning their vehicles adequately between loads, refrigerating food properly and protecting food properly while its being transported.

Carrier primary requirements under this rule include:

  • Drivers and carriers pre-cool their refrigerated trailers before they load up food
  • Drivers and carriers provide proof to shippers and receivers that they properly maintained adequate food temperature
  • Drivers and carriers create and implement procedures for sanitizing, cleaning and inspecting their equipment

Shippers, under this new rule, are also required to inspect the carriers’ trailers before any food products are loaded and ensure that the drivers, personnel and carriers are taking the right measures to ensure that improper temperature contaminated food is not being sold.

How to Stay Compliant

If you are a facility, you have to create and implement a safety system for food that will include analyzing hazards and taking preventative controls against risk. This system should be put in writing. It should include:

  • Hazard Analyzing
  • Monitoring
  • Taking Preventative Action

The FDA put this new rule in place in order to ensure that all food is safe and prevents exposure to foodborne illness.  Companies might wish to use temperature tracking technology as a way to monitor accuracy and improve food safety.

Comprehensive technology can track the temperature of a load and provide driver alerts. It can also provide you with trends over time. By being able to track temperatures throughout the chain of custody, shippers, drivers and carriers can ensure food is always delivered safely to the consumers. This, in conjunction with GPS fleet tracking, can help food transportation companies realize and exceed their potential.

There are millions of consumers that can be affected by foodborne illnesses if temperatures are not being monitored efficiently and food is not at its adequate temperature during shipment.



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