FDA Published New Proposed Rule on Sanitary Transportation of Food

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a proposed rule on sanitary transportation of food under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The FDA’s proposed rule would require shippers, carriers and receivers engaged in the transportation of food by motor carrier or rail who transport food, for either human or animal consumption, to use sanitary practices to ensure the safety of food during transportation. It also addresses security concerns regarding the physical, biological and chemical contamination of food during transport. 

The proposed rule is aimed at eliminating the conditions that can lead to human or animal illness or injury. The new FSMA requirements would include criteria for vehicle and transportation equipment, transportation operations, safety conditions and practices, training and record keeping. Such requirements would include properly refrigerating food, adequately cleaning vehicles between loads and properly protecting food during transportation.

Shippers, receivers or carriers engaged in food transportation operations that have more than $500,000 in annual sales are covered by the proposed rule. It would not apply to the transportation of fully packaged shelf-stable foods, live food animals or raw agricultural commodities when transported by farms. Shippers, receivers and carriers involved in transporting food through the U.S. on its way to another country would also be exempt. However, any exporter bringing food or feed supply into the U.S. for consumption or distribution within the U.S. would be required to comply with this proposed rule.

“This is an important part of the food handling process, one that can introduce contamination even after proper safeguards have been taken by the food producers and processors,” FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, Michael Taylor, wrote on the FDA Voice blog. “Truthfully, it’s uncommon for a foodborne illness to be caused by contamination during transportation. But we have received reports of unsanitary practices, and we want to minimize this potential source of illness.” He further added that the FDA, “will work with all stakeholders-including consumers, industry and researchers-to ensure that what we’re proposing is practical and feasible while meeting our food-safety standards.”

Read the full proposed Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food Rule for complete details.

If you have any questions regarding the FDA’s proposed rule or any other transportation and logistics legal issues, please contact one of our Transportation Law attorneys at 816.931.2700. 



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