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FDA Issues Sanitary Transport Rule Waiver for Grade ‘A’ Milk

Apr 06, 2017

The Food and Drug Administration yesterday granted a waiver regarding the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food rule to milk shippers, carriers and receivers who hold valid permits and are inspected under the National Conference of Interstate Milk Shipments’ (NCIMS) Grade “A” Milk Safety Program. The waiver exempts companies from complying with the sanitary transport rule requirements only when a transporter is actively engaged in transportation operations involving Grade “A” milk and milk products.

FDA previously announced its intentions to issue the waiver, but it was not officially granted until today. IDFA’s prior comments to FDA supported the waiver and noted that current NCIMS standards for Grade “A” companies and transporters have produced a long track record of food safety.

“We’re pleased that FDA is in agreement with us in recognizing the existing protection the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) already provides for Grade ‘A’ products in transport,” said John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards.

Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food

The rule, required by the Food Safety Modernization Act, is designed to regulate the transportation of human and animal food products to protect them from potential 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. FDA finalized the rule in the Federal Register in April of 2016.

Small businesses have until June 6, 2018, to comply with the rule, while compliance for all other businesses not otherwise exempted is effective June 6, 2017. 

Read the FDA announcement here.

For more information, contact Allan at

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