New Food Safety Transportation Regulations
The new regulations require shippers, carriers by motor vehicle or rail vehicle, receivers, and other persons engaged in the transportation of food to use sanitary transportation practices to ensure that food is not transported under conditions that may render the food contaminated. This rule creates new requirements for the sanitary transportation of human and animal food by motor vehicle and rail vehicle to ensure that transportation practices do not create food safety risks. This rule builds on current safe food transportation best practices and is focused on ensuring that persons engaged in the transportation of food that is at the greatest risk for contamination during transportation follow appropriate sanitary transportation practices. The rule is flexible to allow the transportation industry to continue to use industry best practices concerning cleaning, inspection, maintenance, loading and unloading of, and operation of vehicles and transportation equipment to ensure that food is transported under the conditions and controls necessary to prevent adulteration linked to food safety.
Who Must Comply by April 6, 2017?
The FDA mandates that large businesses comply by April 6, 2017. Other businesses have until April 6, 2018. Large businesses are defined as:
- Carriers with $27.5 million or more in annual receipts.
- Brokers with 500 or more employees.
- Shippers with 500 or more employees.
What are the new rules?
According to the FDA, the new rules establish requirements in four key categories:
- Vehicles and equipment – The design and maintenance of vehicles and transportation equipment must ensure that it does not cause the food that it transports to become unsafe.
- Operations – Measures must be taken during transportation to ensure food safety, such as adequate temperature controls, preventing contamination of ready-to-eat food from touching raw food, protection of food from contamination by non-food items in the same load or previous load, and protection of food from cross-contact, such as the unintentional incorporation of a food allergen.
- Training – Requires training of carrier personnel in sanitary transportation practices and documentation of the training. This training is required when the carrier and shipper agree that the carrier is responsible for sanitary conditions during transport.
- Records – Maintenance of records of written procedures, agreements, and training (required of carriers) for up to one year.