Yet Another Food Safety Rule

The Lempert Report
May 03, 2016

Federal regulators recently announced rules for food transportation

The question is can it be monitored? Last month Federal regulators announced rules for food transportation that “require shippers to ensure vehicles are properly cleaned and refrigerated.” So who is going to check? And come to think of it, why? According to the FDA major problems created during transportation were “infrequent.”

There is no question that everyone wants and deserves a safe food supply that is free from risk. And this latest standard, which is part of the Food Safety Modernization Act, an overhaul of food-safety oversight that Congress passed in 2010 and will all become standard by the end of this year, requires that best practices governing the cleaning of road and rail vehicles between shipments, adequate refrigeration and other protective measures during transport be implemented. 

Jeff Barach, a food safety consultant to the Association of Packaging and Processing Technologies, a trade group that represents manufacturers of food packaging and processing equipment told the Wall Street Journal, “Shippers will now have to take measures like precooling trucks before loading them with food, and maintaining records showing adequate temperature controls throughout transport.” 

Last year we conducted a consumer survey for IDDBA and found that shoppers are very concerned about what they see, and don’t see, in the supermarket. Associations like IDDBA and NRA have training programs to educate their staffs on good food safety practices. Changing gloves, cleaning counters and slicers, wearing hair nets and posting accreditations like ServeSafe and health inspector reports are all deal breakers for consumers who told us when these practices are not followed they will shop elsewhere.  

The seven new rules of the FSMA are all good steps, but the most important is to make sure that our in-store food safety practices are bulletproof for the good of shoppers’ health as well as building confidence in our industry. Just ask Chipotle.