FDA Finalizes New Ruling on Safe Food Hauling Practices
Trucking is subject to many regulations. While every type of freight is different, food is a specific subset of cargo subject to its own mandates and transport requirements. The topic is of constant debate in the trucking industry, with new regulatory measures being suggested annually to help improve methods and achieve greater levels of sanitation. Recently, The Food and Drug Administration announced that new regulations have been finalized pertaining to the transport of human and animal food in certain carriers.
The finalized measures differ from the original proposal, as adjustments were made to help make the regulations more manageable while still being effective in the goal. A modern foundation has been established with the passing of seven key mandates created since January 2013. This new and final measure completes the initiative and establishes a risk-based system compliant with the Sanitary Food Transportation Act of 2005.
According to the FDA, the new rule aims to prevent practices during transportation that put food at risk for spoiling and contamination. These include poor cleaning habits, inadequate refrigeration methods, and a lack of proper protection. While some companies in the past have been accused of these faults, the new measures seek to make sure a greater emphasis is placed on sanitation during food transport. Not all carriers, receivers, and shippers will be affected – only those with over $500,000 in average annual revenue will have to comply with new changes.
The regulation will affect the types of vehicles and transportation equipment used. Temperature requirements, cleaning habits, and other measures will be instituted to ensure food remains safe during transport. Personnel will also need to be trained on proper food-handling measures to prevent cross contamination and improper storage of food.
Companies will be required to keep records on hand to prove their compliance with these regulations. The amount of time a record must remain on file varies, but none exceed a year. New classifications will also be used to define the types of appropriate carrying devices for food as well as how a certain type of food may be permissible to carry in one vehicle but not another. Changes like these may require a bit of time in order for companies to adapt to, but lawmakers seem confident that the practice will keep food safe during transport and prevent ailments related to contaminated products.