The Food and Drug Administration announced yesterday that it would extend the comment period for the proposed rule on the sanitary transportation of human and animal food, required by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). With a 60-day extension, the new comment period will end July 30, 2014.
The rule will regulate the transportation of human and animal food products to protect them from food-safety hazards during transport. IDFA believes that most dairy operations are already practicing what is required by the proposed rule, but they may need to address recordkeeping requirements.
FDA has proposed a waiver for transportation activities that are performed under the authority of a National Conference of Interstate Milk Shipments permit. Some ambiguity exists, however, about whether the waiver would apply to outbound Grade A product shipments and whether the inclusion of non-Grade A products, such as orange juice, on the same outbound shipments would defeat the waiver.
“IDFA is hopeful that common sense will prevail and the waiver will be applied in the fullest sense,” said Clay Detlefsen, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs.
In addition, IDFA believes that outbound shipments of finished ice cream products should not be within the scope of the rule. Even if those products are subjected to temperature abuse, they will not become adulterated; instead they will become products that can’t be sold because melting and refreezing alters product quality.
“The proposed rule will establish requirements for vehicles and transportation equipment, transportation operations, information exchange, training, records and waivers,” said Detlefsen. “It is intended to eliminate food safety risks, like improper refrigeration of food, inadequate cleaning of vehicles between loads, and failure to properly protect food during transportation.”
IDFA will submit comments on this rule, bringing the number of FSMA-related comments filed by IDFA to 20.
For more information about the Sanitary Food Transportation proposed rule or FSMA, contact Detlefsen at firstname.lastname@example.org.