Overhaul of nation’s food safety practices impacts virtually every link in food supply chain
New regulations approved under the largest overhaul of the nation’s food safety practices in decades are now being instituted. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) gives comprehensive new regulatory and enforcement powers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and applies to food manufacturing facilities, food labeling, inspection of imports, shipping and virtually every link in the food supply chain, including shippers and food and beverage transportation specialists.
The law, which was approved with bipartisan support by Congress in 2010, aims at enlisting a preventative approach to food control to address biotechnology and nutrition labels and protect consumers from unsafe imported food and foodborne illness.The majority of businesses have one year from the time the act was passed in April 2016 to institute the Preventive Control regulations. Small businesses, defined as employing less than 500 people or having less than $27.5 million in annual receipts if you are a motor carrier, have until April 2018 to comply. FSMA required manufacturers to be in compliance beginning September 2016.
For transportation services providers, the rules are intended to prevent practices that put the safety of food at risk, such as inadequate refrigeration or cleaning of vehicles. The transportation regulation generally applies to shippers, loaders, carriers by motor vehicle or rail vehicle, and receivers engaged in the transportation of food, including food for humans and for animals. According to an article in Food Safety Magazine, the rules applying to the safe transportation of food apply not only to transportation carriers, but also to shippers, receivers and loaders, with primary responsibility for nearly all safety risks during transportation falling to the shipper.
The regulations fall under the following categories: vehicle and equipment sanitation; temperature control; transportation operations to protect food from exposure to raw foods or non-food items in the same or subsequent loads; training; and records.
Food and beverage transportation specialists such as QCS Logistics already are operating with many of the new preventive sanitation requirements, such as vehicle preparation, product handling, transit temperature and maintaining proper paperwork. When managing food shipments, it will become even more important for 3PLs and shippers to work with carriers who know the industry, products and rules to which they are held accountable.
You can be confident that QCS Logistics’ employees and drivers are being trained and educated on the new regulations. They are ready to help manage your shipments and ensure your business is in compliance with FMSA.
If you’re not already a customer and you’re interested in working with QCS Logistics for your produce, refrigerated, or packaged food deliveries in the Southeast and Gulf South, click here.