Friday, April 30, 2010 by Lee Mannering
In today’s Federal Register, the FDA issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to request data and information on the food transportation industry and its practices, as well as data and information on the contamination of transported foods and any associated outbreaks. FDA is doing this as it begins the implementation process of the Sanitary Food Transportation Act of 2005, which requires the agency to issue regulations setting forth sanitary transportation practices to be followed by shippers, carriers by motor vehicle or rail vehicle, receivers, and others engaged in food transport. A few of the questions posed by FDA in the ANPR are:
- What are the amounts and percentages of foods that are transported completely enclosed by packaging, not completely enclosed by packaging (e.g., grain, some fresh produce items), or in bulk tanks (e.g., juices, oils)?
- What proportion of vehicles is exclusively dedicated to transporting foods? What proportion of vehicles transport both food and non-food products?
- What industry standards exist for the cleaning of food transportation vehicles?
- How is the adequacy of cleaning vehicles (including bulk vehicles and non-bulk vehicles) assessed?
- What procedures and practices are in place to prevent contamination of foods not completely enclosed by packaging during transport?
- How are the physical integrity and physical security of a food transport vehicle ensured during its run?
- What procedures and practices are in place to ensure temperature control for time/temperature control for safety foods?
- What types of food products are typically transported simultaneously?
Comments are due to FDA by August 28. We mentioned here on Field to Fork a couple of days ago that USDA just recently released a comprehensive report on the four primary modes of agricultural transportation (trucking, railroads, barges, and ocean vessels). As FDA begins collecting data for implementation for the SFTA, that new study will be a valuable asset to the agency.