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FDA Proposal on Sanitary Transportation of Food Gets Extended Comment Period

Friday, May 23, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Food and Drug Administration has extended from May 31 to July 30 the period for public comments on a proposed rule designed to prevent the physical, chemical or biological contamination of human and animal food during transportation by motor or rail vehicles through practices such as improperly refrigerating food, inadequately cleaning vehicles between loads and failing to properly protect food during transportation. Specific requirements that would be established under this rule would apply to the design and maintenance of vehicles and transportation equipment, measures taken during transportation to ensure food is not contaminated, exchanging information about prior cargos and cleaning of transportation equipment, training of carrier personnel, and maintenance of written procedures and records. Failure to comply with the proposed regulations could result in food shipments being refused entry into the U.S.

With some exceptions, this proposed rule would apply to shippers, receivers and carriers who transport food in the U.S. by motor or rail vehicle, whether or not the food is offered for or enters interstate commerce. It would also apply to a person outside the U.S., such as an exporter, who ships food to the U.S. in an international freight container by oceangoing vessel or in an air freight container and arranges for the transfer of the intact container in the U.S. onto a motor vehicle or rail vehicle for transportation in U.S. commerce, provided that the food will be consumed or distributed in the U.S. The rule would not apply to the transportation of fully packaged shelf-stable foods, live food animals, and raw agricultural commodities when transported by farms.

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