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BLOG: What Does the Sanitary Transportation of Food Rule Mean for You?

April 4, 2017

On April 6th 2017, the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food rule will take effect. If you are a supplier of human or animal perishable food or if you are a carrier that handles this type freight, you most likely heard that this piece of legislation was coming down the pipeline. The Sanitary Transportation of Food rule is just one segment of the Food Safety Modernization Act. But many people are asking what does this rule mean for them and how will it impact the transportation industry? Let’s take closer look!


It is very important to prepare for the changes that may impact shippers and carriers alike on a daily basis.  Procedures must be carefully followed to ensure the safety of food throughout transit. This includes keeping ready-to-eat food separate and away from raw food, there must be adequate temperature controls, and food must be protected from cross-contamination’s. Records of written procedures, training and agreements must be created by carriers. These records must be retained based on the group requirements outlined in the Sanitary Transportation of Food rule. Additionally, all carrier employees must adhere to the new training requirements.


When will this impact your company? Well, this rule will be rolled out in a staggered outline. First, large shippers and carriers must be compliant by April 6th 2017 while mid-size businesses have until April 2018. Although many companies have until 2018 to comply with the second deadline of this roll out, most shippers are expecting carriers within their programs to comply by the April 6 deadline, regardless of the size of the carrier’s business. There is an exception to this rule – smaller carriers, shippers, and/or receivers are not required to comply with the rule. It is very important to read the guidelines and confirm what segment your organization falls in to avoid any issues. Although an exception exists, it is still important to remember that most shippers will anticipate compliance with this rule by all transportation providers.


Rest assured the FDA feels that these new requirements simply reflect the current industry best practices. Many shippers and carriers across the country already have these requirements implemented in their current process so it is anticipated that there will be minimal impact to the industry. To put it simply, the goal of the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food rule is to improve the safety of food while it is transit over the road or by rail.


If you have any questions regarding the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food rule or the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), reach out to your Axle Logistics consultant today!