On April 6, 2017, the food and beverage industry reached the first compliance deadline for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This act is the biggest change to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that was passed in 1938 and seeks to reduce the chances of illness and contamination caused by food.
For companies up and down the supply chain, FSMA’s Sanitary Transport Rule places a strict emphasis on maintaining proper transport temperatures and practices. To see how this rule affects your company, read through our things to know below.
1. Accurate temperature tracking is a must
If temperatures fall anywhere outside of requirements while in transit or the food is found unacceptable, your shipments may be refused or wasted. Such non-compliance can also result in litigation, so accurately tracking your trucking temperatures is vital to successful business under the new rule. With your Geotab Go7, you can monitor temperatures in real-time, get alerts when temperatures change by a single degree, track temperatures over time, and stay confident with reliable temperature tracking for all of your vehicles.
2. Know who is affected
If you ship food from Mexico or Canada to the United States for consumption or distribution or operate as an exporter, you fall under the Sanitary Transport Rule. If, however, your shipments of food move through the U.S. without being distributed, you are exempt. Other exemptions include live food animal transports (excluding molluscan shellfish), farm transports, and carriers with an average annual revenue of less than $500,000.
3. Understand the deadlines
The FSMA has created two deadlines, giving small businesses more time to comply with the new rule. These deadlines are:
- April 6, 2018: Businesses that are not motor carriers, shippers, or receivers with fewer than 500 employees and motor carriers with annual receipts of less than $27.5 million
- April 6, 2017: Businesses that don’t qualify for the small business deadline
By these dates, shipping companies must communicate written food safety requirements for training, equipment, and operations to their carriers. All requirements for sanitary transportation equipment must be included in these communications. Carriers are responsible for meeting all temperature requirements during transport and must be able to provide recorded documentation for truck temperatures. Additional requirements include:
- Carrier personnel training for anyone who works with sanitary transports
- Carriers must take safety precautions during transportation, including cross-contamination prevention and temperature control
- Record keeping
- Vehicle and transport equipment must be designed and maintained to meet FSMA requirements
Is your company FSMA compliant? How have these changes affected your company?