Just when you felt like the trucking industry could not be regulated any more, there is a sweeping new law that will affect every trucking company involved in transporting food from one place to another. The new law and its implementing regulations will affect trucking companies in several ways, including holding trucking companies responsible for ensuring that food is safe.
The new law is known as the Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA. This is a shift from how things have been done in the past. The trucking companies will now be under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration, and this will not relieve them of the agencies they already fall under, like the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Key Points for Food Transportation Companies
There are several areas that trucking companies involved with transporting food will need to understand better, and become compliant with the new regulations. Those areas include:
- Tracking and properly controlling the temperature for refrigerated foods. This means that compartments have to be pre-cooled prior to pickup, and refrigerated trailers must have a monitoring device that will keep records.
- Trailers have to be in sanitary conditions, and they will be subject to inspection by the FDA for cleanliness and compliance with the new regulations.
- If the shipper or receiver requests a log of temperature conditions during transport, the carrier must provide them. This puts the burden of record keeping on the trucking company.
- Companies will now be responsible for training their employees on the new regulations, and record the results.
- Trucking companies involved in food transportation will be responsible for keeping data and records of 12 months so they can be examined and used in compliance checks.
These and other areas will prove to change the way trucking companies do business. Getting into compliance will likely cost you, but not complying will cost even more.
The good news for smaller trucking companies is that compliance with the new laws and regulations is extended to April of 2018. Getting under compliance will be no small task, and it will take plenty of time and expertise for the companies to ensure that they are not outside the bounds of the new law. Penalties for failing to comply could ruin a company.
If you are a smaller trucking company involved in transporting food, you need a plan. At Anderson and Yamada we have decades of experience helping small, medium, and large trucking companies comply with federal, state, and local regulations. As we see here, the landscape of applicable laws continues to change for trucking companies, and it is very important to know what those changes are, and what your company needs to do to be in compliance.
No matter what your transportation law needs are, we can help at Anderson and Yamada. Contact us today and we would be happy to go over any issue, from compliance with regulations to defending lost or damaged cargo claims. We look forward to hearing from you.