The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its proposed rule on the sanitary transportation of human and animal food, required by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The proposed rule will regulate the transportation of human and animal food products to protect them from food-safety hazards during transport. This may require dairy facilities to establish specific practices and additional recordkeeping, though FDA has proposed a waiver for transportation activities that are performed under the authority of an National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS)  permit. The exact scope of that waiver is unclear and will need to be worked out through the rulemaking process.

“The proposed rule will establish requirements for vehicles and transportation equipment, transportation operations, information exchange, training, records, and waivers,” said Clay Detlefsen, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs. “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.”

The comment period opens Feb. 5. IDFA will submit comments, which are due by May 31. Public meetings are scheduled in Chicago, Ill.; Anaheim, Calif.; and College Park, Md.

To help members better understand the proposed rule’s impact on the dairy and transportation industries, IDFA is offering a webinar on Sanitary Food Transportation on Feb. 12 from 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern time.

FSMA was signed into law on Jan. 4, 2011, with a goal of better protecting human and animal health by helping to ensure the safety and security of the food and feed supply. FSMA "embraces preventing food safety problems as the foundation of a modern food safety system and recognizes the need for a global approach to food and feed safety." The FDA has proposed six additional rules that are foundational to the preventive approach encompassed by FSMA.

For more information about the Sanitary Food Transportation proposed rule or FSMA, contact Detlefsen at