The American Feed Industry Association highlighted the SafeFeed/Safe Food (SF/SF) Certification Program’s requirement that certified facilities have signed agreementswith suppliers detailing the clean-out and inspection procedures for the transportation of feed and feedingredients in recent comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) as part of its implementation of the 2005 Sanitary Food Transportation Act (SFTA) of 2005 early this year to request data and information on the foodtransportation industry and its practices.
“AFIA expressed concern on the ability of feed and ingredient manufacturers to get information on previouslyhauled loads, especially by independent truckers and rail carriers,” explained Keith Epperson, AFIA’s vicepresident of manufacturing and training. “Many companies own and maintain their own vehicles fortransportation of products. This gives the company complete control over the vehicle with regard to feed safety.”
Generally, rail carriers are either unwilling or unable to provide information on previous loads carried in railcars. For this reason, the SF/SF program requires inspection of rail cars by ingredient suppliers prior to loading.
AFIA suggested to FDA that transporters should be required to maintain at least the previous suppliers’ recordsand items that were hauled in the containers and make them available to subsequent purchasers of productsshipped in those containers.
In addition, AFIA submitted a letter as part of a coalition of several industry associations. The coalition sharesFDA’s commitment to promoting public health by reducing “risks to human or animal health associated with thetransportation of food.”
The coalition believes that the public health and consumer protection objectives of the SFTA will be best servedby improved compliance with existing requirements through enhanced enforcement, guidance developed jointlyby industry and FDA, and outreach programs.
The available information indicates that food transportation practices that comply with existing FDArequirements are appropriate and, most importantly, effective, and that food transportation practices that violateexisting FDA regulations are responsible for the four identified cases of foodborne illness that have been linkedto food transportation practices over the past three decades.