A Guide to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
What is FSMA?
FSMA finalized in Acpril 2017 and built upon the 2005 Sanitary Food Transportation Act (SFTA). There were concerns about the regulations for the handling and transportation of food in a safe manner, as well as a need to strengthen the food safety system. Food-borne illnesses could be prevented during transport reducing safety hazards such as:
Protecting food from contamination
Failure to keep temperature-controlled food refrigerated
Inadequate cleaning of vehicles between loads
How Does FSMA Apply to Your Company?
Transportation and Logistics?
Food manufacturers and transportation companies that they work with are required to operate compliant and clean equipment, have standard operating procedures in place, training to prevent food contamination, and keep records of anything on food safety measures.
Under FSMA, shippers are the ones who arrange the transportation of the food product(s). Including food manufacturers and the freight brokers that they partner with. Shippers must understand the regulations, and work with a compliant transportation company that communicates any food safety requirements with the companies they work with. They are responsible for ensuring that vehicles and equipment are in sanitary conditions deemed acceptable by the FDA. They must specify temperature and pre-cooling requirements in writing to the carrier and ensure that their cargo doesn’t make food unsafe for bulk shipments.
Motor carriers must determine that their vehicles and equipment are sanitary. Carriers are made accountable for making sure the equipment meets the shipper’s requirements and can maintain the temperatures needed to keep food safe. Refrigerated cold storage has to work and be pre-cooled to the correct temperature as instructed before loading. Carriers need to maintain temperature records and proof of equipment cleaning for all cargo that has been on their equipment.
Training is a requirement of the FSMA. You are responsible for training all associates in the elements of the food safety plan that directly affect them. And evidence of this training must be documented and available for inspection. Basic training applies to all employees, even those who are temporary associates. When it comes to longer-term associates, the goal should be to build a culture of food safety and compliance. Training starts at the top and flows down throughout the organization. For instance, someone on your team may need to inspect a trailer to see whether it meets sanitary standards. Training and documentation must be available to workers who are making these inspections. That requires an FSMA, SQF, HACCP quality inspector in your organization who is responsible for training personnel on the various aspects of compliance.
Your Food Safety Partner
At Taylor, food safety is in their DNA. Taylor offers several logistics services, including packaging, warehousing, transportation, and freight brokerage. In every division, they serve a large number of food companies. Their food customers depend on them to use food safety best practices and to stay up to date on the latest regulatory changes. Taylor has obtained the SQF food-grade seal for the past five years for all fulfillment and warehouse centers.