09 Jun How Does the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Affect Your Logistics Company
On 5th, February 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a proposed legislation on the sanitary transportation of human and animal food. This rule is mandated to operate under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The objective of this law is to advance FDA’s efforts of preventing practices that encourage food contamination during transportation, for instance, inadequate cleaning of trucks between loads, failure to refrigerate food properly, and failure to adequately protect food in transit. This article will disclose to you how the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) affects your logistics company.
- Transportation Operations will raise operating costs
This regulation defines food transportation operations as all activities associated with animal or human food hauling that may affect the sanitary conditions of the foods. These activities include inspection, cleaning, loading, maintenance, unloading, and the operation of equipment and vehicles. Logistics companies are expected to conduct transportation operations under strict sanitary controls and conditions to prevent any food contamination or decomposition.
Logistics Companies must, therefore, adhere to these set standards when transporting food. Improving operations to make them compliant with the new law did raise the operating costs of logistics companies.
- Transportation Equipment and Vehicles
The rule demands that the materials used to manufacture the vehicles and equipment used in food transportation be easily cleanable and suitable to permit the sanitary transportation food. For instance, this FDA legislation describes wood containers as being unsuitable for the transportation of raw poultry or meat. Logistics companies are mandated to observe this requirement.
This rule requires all logistics company personnel and shippers to acquire adequate training about the basic sanitary practices, potential food safety challenges, and the responsibilities of the carrier in ensuring food safety. The records documenting the training must be kept for one year from the time the trained persons no longer perform the duties for which they were trained. This requirement is also expected to raise operational costs.
- Information Collecting and Exchange
Under this provision, logistics companies are required to share appropriate information about the cleaning of transportation equipment, prior cargos, temperature controls, and much more.
- Record keeping
Data will now continuously be collected and analyzed to detect any probability of contamination in the food. These records should be up-to-date and produced to the FDA when required as defined by the new FSMA.
Under this FSMA’s act, shippers and carriers are required to maintain written procedures, pieces of training, and records related to prior cargos, equipment cleaning, and temperature control for one year.
- Other Responsibilities
This FSMA’s act also requires shippers and third party logistics companies to create a comprehensive written food safety plan. The plan should be drafted by an expert certified by the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). The plan should entail a validated process to curb food contamination during transportation, all the possible contamination avenues, and a written corrective strategy for any arising problems. The rule requires frequent inspections on transportation equipment to ensure food safety during transportation.
The Human and Animal Food sanitary transportation rule is one of the seven crucial rules that were proposed since January 2013 to create a modern risk-based food safety framework. With a few exceptions, this rule applies to receivers, loaders, shippers, and transporters who haul human and animal food in the United States by rail or road. The law is also inclusive of individuals outside the United States who transport both animal and human foods by road or rail for distribution or consumption within the United States. As this rule undergoes implementation, logistics companies are expected to comply fully to ensure food safety during transportation. To make their operations compliant with this new act logistics companies who transport food cargo will have to invest significantly in modernizing their equipment and providing training for their personnel.