Food Transportation Safety Compliance; I’m Required To Do What?

Despite well publicized instances to the contrary, food safety in the U.S. is probably on par or better than virtually any other modern nation on the planet. That said, it would be counter-logical and counter-productive to suggest we cannot continue to make improvements…

With that in mind, in 2011 Congress passed a law, The Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA), which transferred food transportation safety into the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA, as you can see from Aaron Huff’s article, jumped right in:

On Feb. 5, 2014, the FDA proposed a new rule that would impose more stringent obligations on shippers, motor carriers and receivers. Perhaps of most interest to carriers is that failure to maintain shipper-defined standards for temperature and other conditions will make the carrier liable for damages, even if the cargo itself is not damaged.


The burden of proof for cargo claims would shift to motor carriers, making it necessary to have highly accurate, real-time information about the condition of loads and equipment at all stages of transit, including trailer pre-cool verification.

This is significant for our industry. Shippers will now be required to make certain data available but the carrier may be liable if the shipper fails to provide that info. What happens if the shipper provides inaccurate date? Additionally more trailer-specific data will be required to be captured by the carrier and disclosed to the potential shipper. Additionally trailer-cleaning methods will be standardized and become certifiable (can you say, “hidden expense”?).

As I stated yesterday, “Now, more than ever, it is imperative for shippers to work with carriers and/or brokers who are trustworthy; who know the laws; who can protect their clients.”

If you need just that sort of carrier, give Zion a call today.

(Additional FMSA info can be found here.)

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