Compliance Date Draws Near for Food Safety Modernization Act’s Sanitary Transportation Rule

April 6th marks the day shippers, carriers, brokers, receivers, and loaders will need to comply with the sanitary transportation portion of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

The first two of seven FSMA major rulings went into effect last September: the Preventive Controls for Human Food and Preventative Controls for Animal Food.  These rulings required that food facilities “document they have a food safety plan, have conducted a hazard analysis, implemented preventive controls to mitigate hazards, and are conducting environmental monitoring.” 1

The Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food ruling, which was supposed to have a compliance date of March when it was pushed back a month, applies to those shippers/receivers with 500 or more employees. Those with fewer than 500 and revenues under $27.5 million a year will have an additional year to comply.  Carriers with revenues of less than $500,000 are exempt from the ruling, however, shippers will expect them to be compliant as well.

Under the Uniform Food Safety Transportation Protocol (UFSTP), carriers will be required to “certify to shippers and brokers that they are familiar with and will comply with FDA’s requirements for cleaning of equipment, training of personnel, recordkeeping, and refrigeration.” 2  The ruling, however, applies to shippers, brokers, receivers, and loaders as well who must practice safe transportation procedures.

The FDA expects implementation of this ruling to cost $117 million when calculated at 7% for the first ten years. 1

Still to come are the following:

The Foreign Supplier Verification Programs rule-May 13, 2017 compliance date

Intentional Adulteration rule-July 31, 2017 compliance date

Produce Safety rule-January 13, 2018 compliance date

Third Party Certification’s rule-Spring 2018 compliance date

The FSMA requirements will be beneficial in court liability decisions determining whether a company followed standards of care.

Road Scholar Transport is protecting the integrity of your food products during transport with the following solutions to your everyday transportation concerns:

Problem-Transfers:  The more products are transferred from facility to facility, the greater the risk of contamination, especially when dealing with those products which must maintain a specific temperature range.  Imagine frozen food sitting on a dock waiting to be loaded during the hot summer months as well as how many times the products were handled before reaching its final destination.  The number of transfers also makes it harder to track and pinpoint the source of contamination.

The Solution:  Road Scholar Transport helps cut back on the handling of your products by offering 24-hour expedited service, dock-to-dock with NO transfers.

Problem-Cross-Contamination/Sanitization: Trailers that are unsanitized pose the risk of cross-contamination, especially for less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments, which carry multiple types of products in a single trailer at the same time.  Would you want your produce transported with a load of household cleaners?  Even if the trailer is clean, fumes from these chemicals can affect food products.

Additionally, wooden pallets also serve as a means of cross-contamination, being very porous, and therefore, absorbing and maintaining fluids that can breed bacteria.  Splinters from the wood can puncture the products, causing a great risk to food, and nails (wooden pallets are said to contain an average of 150 nails), can puncture products, dripping juices onto the pallet, creating bacteria which is then transferred into future products shipped via that same pallet.  Wooden trailer floors similarly serve as a means of contamination, as spills within the trailer from previous freight, unsanitary objects and materials being carried on from shoes and forklifts, among many other means, penetrate the flooring, building up chemicals and bacteria which can enter future freight.

The Solution:  Road Scholar Transport operates trucks with aluminum floor trailers to create a more sanitary environment for your products.  We conduct regular sweeps on all trailers to ensure that your freight is being transported in a clean, and therefore safe, environment as well as have record of what has been transported since the last time the trailer was cleaned.

Problem-Poor Drivers:  Unqualified and unsafe drivers also aid in contamination risks.  For example, a driver not taking extra caution with his load can damage the products he or she is transporting.  Picture a load of glass jars smashing due to a driver speeding and not securing the load properly.  The broken glass can now affect nearby products on the same trailer.

The Solution:  Road Scholar’s trucks are air-ride equipped and driven by experienced and uniformed drivers, providing a safe, smooth ride.

Problem-Malfunctioning Equipment:  Improper maintenance of vehicles can lead to tainted products as well, especially those operating reefers.  Malfunctioning reefer units can cause spoilage or contamination risks, along with hazardous concerns (such as chemical explosions) for those products that cannot be exposed to high temperature conditions.

The Solution:  Road Scholar does not use blankets to sustain temperature.  Our temperature-protect trailers can be set to temperatures as high as 89°F (and reversely, as low as -22°F) and are equipped to handle even the tightest temperature ranges, having imbedded technology that tracks the temperature within and alerts our team in the event that the temperature goes out of range so we can rectify the situation prior to the product losing its integrity.  We even provide our customers with the tools to track their shipment live throughout the entire transportation process and can provide a complete record of the temperature within the trailer at any given time, even months after delivery, as well as each time the trailer door was opened/closed.

Learn more about Road Scholar’s food-grade services by clicking here.