The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today finalized a new food safety rule under the landmark FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that will help to prevent food contamination during transportation.
The rule will require those involved in transporting human and animal food by motor or rail vehicle to follow recognized best practices for sanitary transportation, such as properly refrigerating food, adequately cleaning vehicles between loads and properly protecting food during transportation.
The action is part of a larger effort to focus on prevention of food safety problems throughout the food chain, and 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. The regulation will apply to food transported within the United States by motor or rail vehicle, whether or not the food is offered for or enters interstate commerce. Shippers, loaders, carriers and receivers engaged in transportation operations of food imported by motor or rail vehicle and consumed or distributed in the United States are also subject to the final rule.
“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.
The rule was proposed in February 2014 and takes into consideration more than 200 comments submitted by the transportation industry, food industry, government regulatory partners, international trading partners, consumer advocates, tribal organizations and others. It also builds on the transportation industry’s best practices for cleaning, inspecting, maintaining, loading and unloading and operating vehicles and transportation equipment.
Implementation of the sanitary transportation rule and all FSMA final rules will require partnership, education and training.