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Americans Give Truckers More Time to Talk Food Hauling

WASHINGTON, DC — The transport industry now has more time to weigh in on the American new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) before it becomes law. And Canadian carriers should be paying attention, too.

Although it was introduced in 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the industry some time to offer thoughts and comments on the FSMA. The changeover to practices compliant with the new regulations gained traction in 2013, and the original comment period for the transport industry was scheduled to have ended the last week of May 2014.

Because the FSMA is a far-reaching legislation concerning not just human food, but animal feed, feed ingredients, and pet food, the industry felt there wasn’t enough time to thoroughly evaluate it.

So the FDA has extended the comment period by 60 days to July 30, 2014.

The FSMA, a product of the FDA is designed to grandfather in several new rules and regulations concerning the sanitary, safe transportation of food—including importing and exporting in and out of Canada.

Some years ago, writes the FDA in the Federal Register, a slew of tanker trucks were hauling raw liquid eggs. The next load they carried was ice cream mix. The mix became cross contaminated and caused over 220,000 people to be infected with salmonellosis.

The goal of the FSMA, the biggest food safety law change since 1938, is to ensure that such an incident never occurs again.

Canadians, too, need to prepare for the changes, but the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) Senior Vice President Stephen Laskowski says that the biggest challenge for most existing food carriers will be an increase in record-keeping and paper work so carriers will be able to withstand an audit of their food-transportation safety practices.

“The thing is, if, say a load of Bob’s Chicken is found to be responsible for a salmonella outbreak, everyone will want to know who moved Bob’s chicken and what was shipped with it, seven years after the fact,” Laskowski told todaystrucking.com.

“It’s largely about transparency.”

For a look at the proposed legislation, click here

The FDA requests interested persons to electronically submit their concerns and comments here.

 
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