The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regularly changes its regulations to meet the ever-changing needs of food handling and care. In April of 2016, the FDA published a new rule as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act, titled “Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food.” The new regulations within this rule will affect transportation companies that handle food as part of their regular freight.

According to the FDA, the purpose of this rule is to further “protect foods from farm to table by keeping them safe from contamination during transportation.” These new regulations affect shippers, receivers, and anyone in between handling food by any means of transportation. The changes took effect officially on April 6th, 2017—one year after the original publication. Smaller businesses have until the same date in 2018.

The new rule calls for many specific changes to help prevent food-borne contamination—as opposed to handling existing contamination. Some of the “Key Requirements” include:

  • All modes of transportation must be cleaned according to regulations and made safe for food transport with adequate temperatures, and other environmental factors.
  • Food must be protected and insulated, raw foods must not be touched, and cross-contact with other foods—such as potential allergens—must be prevented.
  • Handlers must be trained in sanitary transportation practices and this training must be documented with appropriate records. “The carrier is responsible for sanitary conditions during transport.”
  • Recording-keeping requirements must be maintained. These records include training, procedures, legal agreements, etc.

The FDA will partner with the DOT to make certain that the rule is being implemented and followed. There is also a network—the FDA FSMA Food Safety Technical Assistance Network—to provide support and information in order to assist the companies making these changes. The FDA also intends to offer a course online for meeting training requirements.

Rest assure that, at Classic Transportation and Warehousing, we comply with all transportation regulations. We take food safety very seriously. Call us today and ask how we can become your go-to source for transportation and warehousing.