Understanding FSMA – Video Series
2 of 4 Sanitary Transportation, Key Requirements & Responsibilities
At any point during the transportation chain, if any person were to become aware of a possible temperature control failure or any condition that would render the food unsafe, the food MUST NOT be sold or distributed until determining the safety of the food. This comes when people are fully trained and aware of the roles that they play along the transportation chain.
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While all involved parties are now being held accountable with sanitary transportation rule requirements, the primary responsibility has been assigned to the carriers, as they are the ones who both supply the equipment and conduct the transportation process. Carriers, receivers, shippers and loaders alike must all demonstrate they have the equipment and processes in place to get food from the farm to the table in a safe manner.
There are extensive recording and training requirements, specific to each party involved. There is a requirement to maintain accurate records and training documents that show everyone knows what to do, and are capable of following and implementing the rules. Upon request from an inspector, any required documents must be delivered within 24 hours to demonstrate compliance. Maintaining electronic documents will serve your company well during these unavoidable occurrences.
Who is primarily responsible?
- The STHAF rule is primarily focusing on the responsibility of the carrier, because they are the party supplying the equipment and conducting the transportation activity.
- The shipper is responsible for informing the carriers of necessary temperature and sanitary requirements of the food being carried, among other things.
- Receivers are responsible for unloading activities, and maintaining the sanitary nature of food upon delivery.
- The carrier is responsible to have a written agreement with the shipper, that covers items like cleaning, sanitizing, temperature controls and inspection of equipment.
- In addition to this, the carrier is required to demonstrate their own equipment is meeting both temperature and sanitary requirements, and be able to produce accurate records to demonstrate their maintenance and training programs. They must be able to provide this documentation to both the shipper and the receiver.
- If the loader is different from the carrier or the driver, the loader is responsible to inspect: the sanitary conditions of the trailers before loading, the physical conditions of the trailers themselves, and the cold storage (when required). All inspections must be documented, and any deviations must be properly noted and fixes initiated
- At any point during the transportation chain, if any person were to become aware of a possible temperature control failure or any condition that would render the food unsafe, the food MUST NOT be sold or distributed until determining the safety of the food. This comes when people are fully trained and aware of the roles that they play along the transportation chain.