The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today proposed a rule that would require certain shippers, receivers, and carriers who transport food by motor or rail vehicles to take steps to prevent the contamination of human and animal food during transportation.The ruling is applicable to shippers, carriers, and receivers who transport food that will be consumed or distributed in the United States .  The proposed rule would also apply to international shippers who transport food for U.S. consumption or distribution in an international freight container by air or by oceangoing vessel and arrange for the transfer of the intact container onto a motor vehicle or rail vehicle in the United States. It is highly recommended that affected entities should start conducting risk assessment on  how new regulatory requirements  could affect their operations.

According to FDA “This proposed rule will help reduce the likelihood of conditions during transportation that can lead to human or animal illness or injury,” said Michael R. Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine . The FDA’s proposal is 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 refrigeration, cleaning of vehicles and failing to properly protect food during transportation. Certain requirements may impact the sanitary transportation practices, such as properly refrigerating food, adequately cleaning vehicles between loads, and properly protecting food during transportation and record keeping.  Failure to comply with the proposed regulations could result in food shipments being refused entry into the U.S.

The FDA is proposing staggered implementation dates for the proposed rule based on business size, ranging from one to two years after publication of the final rule.