The Food and Drug Administration this week submitted the final rule on the sanitary transportation of human and animal food to the Federal Register for publication. The agency said the requirements will be effective 60 days after publication, adding that documents can publish several days after they are submitted. Recognizing that small businesses may need more time to comply with the requirements, FDA has proposed tiered compliance dates based on company size.
The rule, required by the Food Safety Modernization Act, will regulate the transportation of human and animal food products to protect them from food-safety hazards during transport. 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.
When the proposed rule was released in 2014, IDFA and the National Milk Producers Federation filed joint comments that supported the flexible and risk-based parts of the rule, such as the proposed waiver for foods subject to the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO). They also backed the agency’s practical approach to recordkeeping and the proposed exemption for shelf-stable foods.
The comments flagged several points that required clarification or improvements, including aligning the language regarding temperature control with current industry practices and recognizing that short-duration transportation, intra-company shipments and transportation of raw agricultural commodities may not need the same level of oversight as other shipments. IDFA and NMPF also asked FDA to share its plans for inspections and enforcement.
For more information, contact Emily Lyons, IDFA director of regulatory affairs and counsel, at firstname.lastname@example.org.