Many food companies faced food safety concerns in the past years and as a result, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a new rule for the transport of food products. The rule applies to shippers, loaders, carriers and receivers involved in transporting food to use sanitary practices to ensure safety.

The new rule is slated to be published in the Federal Register on April 6. Under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2011, the policy will help avoid food contamination during transport from one place to another, which has been linked to numerous food-borne disease outbreaks in the past several months.

The move is included in a bigger effort of the regulatory agency to ensure food safety and as a part of the implementation of the Sanitary Food Transportation Act of 2005.

"Consumers deserve a safe food supply and this final rule will help to ensure that all those involved in the farm-to-fork continuum are doing their part to ensure that the food products that arrive in our grocery stores are safe to eat," said Michael Taylor, FDA deputy commissioner.

Suggested in 2014, the rule took into consideration the hundreds of comments from various sectors including the food industry, transportation agencies, government agencies, consumer campaigners, and trading partners across the globe on ways to prevent food safety problems that has taken a toll on many companies in the past few years.

"We made several revisions to this final rule, in response to comments that we received regarding the proposed rule, to affirm that the use of current sanitary food transportation best practices as described in these comments, e.g., the 'Rendering Industry Code of Practice' and 'Model Tanker Wash Guidelines For the Fruit Juice Industry,' will allow industry to meet the requirements of this rule," FDA said [pdf] in its final rule document.

"Some of these best practices have been provided to the Agency as industry documents submitted with comments on the proposed rule, while others were described in the comments or the public meetings we held for the proposed rule," it added.

At present, six of the seven rules at the core of FSMA have been implemented and the last one would be finalized later this year.

Photo: Markus Spiske | Flickr 

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