FSMA sanitary transport rule announced

Photo by Mateusz Stachowski.

Photo by Mateusz Stachowski.

A rule aimed at preventing contamination of human and animal food during transport announced today marks the final major rule to come from the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

The proposed rule would create criteria for sanitary transportation methods, including proper refrigeration, cleaning between shipments and ensuring food is protected during transport. It will affect carriers, shippers and receivers who transport food destined for consumption in the U.S. This includes international shippers who distribute food to the U.S. for consumption, according to a statement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“This proposed rule will help reduce the likelihood of conditions during transportation that can lead to human or animal illness or injury,” said Michael R. Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, in a statement. “We are now one step closer to fully implementing the comprehensive regulatory framework for prevention that will strengthen the FDA’s inspection and compliance tools, modernize oversight of the nation’s food safety system, and prevent foodborne illnesses before they happen.”

The rule will not cover shippers, receivers or carriers that transport food but have less than $500,000 in annual sales. Fully packaged shelf-stable foods, live food animals and raw agricultural commodities shipped by farms also do not fall under the rule, nor do shippers, receivers or carriers who ship food through the U.S. that is destined for another country.

The proposed rule is open for comments until May 31. Comments may be made at www.regulations.gov.

The sanitary transport rule marks the last major rule to come from FSMA, which was signed into law in 2011. Other FSMA rules include preventive controls for human food and animal feed, the produce rule, the foreign supplier verification rule, the third party accreditation rule and the food defense rule.

For more on FSMA from Neogen blog, click here.

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