The Food and Drug Administration, Washington, on April 5
(Tuesday) finalized a new food safety rule under the Food Safety
Modernization Act (FSMA) that will help to prevent food contamination
during transportation. The rule will require those transporting human
and animal food by motor or rail vehicle to follow recognized best
practices for sanitary shipments. These include ensuring proper food
refrigeration, adequate cleaning of vehicles between loads and proper
protection of food protection during transportation.
Manufacturers not already using relevant food-safety protocols in
their distribution operations now have a deadline. Larger businesses
must comply within one year of the rule's publication. Smaller
manufacturers have two years to reach compliance. The action includes
all food and beverage products shipped throughout the U.S., including
products made domestically and imports that are later moved throughout
Part of a larger effort to focus on prevention of food safety
problems throughout the food chain, the rule implements the Sanitary
Food Transportation Act of 2005 (SFTA) as well as the requirement in
section 111 of FSMA that instructed FDA to issue SFTA regulations.
For some companies, the new ruling could change aspects of the supply
chain, such as requiring pre-cool delivery trucks before loading in
"Consumers deserve a safe food supply, and this final rule will help
to ensure that all those involved in the farm-to-fork continuum are
doing their part to ensure that the food products that arrive in our
grocery stores are safe to eat," said Michael R. Taylor, the FDA’s
deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine.
Implementation of the sanitary transportation rule and all FSMA final rules will require partnership, education and training.
recognize the importance of education and training in achieving
widespread compliance, and we are committed to working with both
industry and our government partners to ensure effective implementation
of all of the new food safety rules under the Food Safety Modernization
Act," added Taylor.
So far, the FDA has finalized six of the seven major rules that
implement the core of the FSMA. The final rule, on Sanitary
Transportation of Human and Animal Food, builds on the preventive
controls rules for human food and animal food, the Produce Safety rule,
Foreign Supplier Verification program rule and the Accreditation of
Third-Party Certification rule, all of which FDA finalized last year.
The seventh rule, which focuses on mitigation strategies to protect food
against intentional adulteration, is expected to be finalized later in
2016, the agency says.