The new regulations are a requirement of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
The new sanitary transportation practices are designed to ensure that food is not transported under conditions that may cause the food to become adulterated.
The FDA said that isolated incidents of insanitary transportation practices for human and animal food and outbreaks and illnesses caused by contamination of foods during transport have resulted in concerns over the past decades about the potential that food can become contaminated during transportation.
The goal of the proposed rule is to ensure that transportation practices do not create food safety risks.
The FDA proposals say that practices that create such risk include failure to properly refrigerate food, inadequate cleaning of vehicles between loads, and failure to properly protect food during transportation.
The proposed rule builds on current safe food transport practices and is focused on ensuring that people engaged in the transportation of food that is at the greatest risk of contamination during transportation follow appropriate sanitary transportation practices.
Best practices concerning cleaning, inspection, maintenance, loading and unloading, and the operation of vehicles and transportation equipment that have already been developed will continue to be used.
The proposed rule does not cover shippers, receivers or carriers that have less than $500,000 in total annual sales.
The requirements also do not apply to fully packaged shelf-stable foods, live food animals and raw agricultural commodities (RACs) when RACs are transported by farms.
The proposed rule will establish requirements for:
- Vehicles and transportation equipment;
- Transportation operations;
- Records; and
The new rule is estimated to cover 83,609 firms.
The total first year cost is estimated to be $149.1 million (with an average of $1,784 per firm), and total annual cost is estimated to be $30.08 million (with an average of $360 per firm).
The FDA said that it does not have sufficient data to quantify the potential benefits of the proposed rule.
Comments on the proposals can be submitted by 31 May.
You can view the full report by clicking here.