FDA Releases Final Rule on Safe Transportation of Food Rule

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released the Final Rule for the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food on April 6, 2016. This Final Rule will advance FDA’s efforts to protect foods from farm to table by keeping them safe from contamination during transportation.

The earliest compliance dates for some businesses begin on April 6, 2017, while “small businesses” have until April 6, 2018, to comply. The Agency defines a small business as, “businesses other than motor carriers who are not also shippers and/or receivers employing fewer than 500 persons and motor carriers having less than $27.5 million in annual receipts.”

The Agency amended the definition of a “shipper” to include 3PLs as a responsible party. Specifically, the definition reads:

Shipper means a person, e.g., the manufacturer or a freight broker, who arranges for the transportation of food in the United States by a carrier or multiple carriers sequentially.

Furthermore, the Agency notes that shippers or brokers are in the best position to determine the necessary requirements and places the primary responsibility for compliance with them. This would include:

  • Appropriate transportation operations
  • If the food needs temperature controlled for safety and the relevant operating temperature and mode of temperature monitoring
  • If clean out procedures are needed
  • If previous cargo should be revealed 

The Agency notes that shippers can contractually assign responsibility to other covered parties.

Please visit the TIA Government Affairs website for a complete background paper of all the requirements for shippers/brokers.