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What is the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)?

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The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the most sweeping reform of U.S. food safety laws in more than 70 years. It aims to assure the safety of food throughout the supply chain through the introduction of new requirements to food manufacturers, processors, transporters and distributors.

Not sure where to start? You’ve come to the right place.

The FSMA legislation consists of seven new regulations. The key regulation around food transportation is the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food (sometimes referred to as SFTA - the Sanitary Food Transport Act), which defines requirements around...

Temperature control/tracking
For refrigerated products, every storage compartment must be pre-cooled and have a temperature monitoring device. Shippers must also define temperature conditions must be met throughout transportation.

Vehicles must be maintained in a sanitary condition, and are subject to inspection. Loading/unloading stations must be provided with handwashing facilities.

Temperature certification/data exchange
A log of temperature conditions for the duration of the transportation must be provided to the receiver/shipper by the carrier upon request.

Carriers must provide basic sanitary transportation practice training to their personnel.

Data Retention
All records must be maintained for a period of 12 months.

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Who is Affected by FSMA?

FSMA affects almost everyone involved in the United States food supply chain.

Any food transportation company with revenues over $500,000 that serves as, shipper, carrier or receiver must comply with the Sanitary Transport of Human and Animal Food (STHAF) rule:

  • A shipper is a person who initiates a shipment of food by motor or rail vehicle. Shippers are frequently the manufacturers or processors of food. They are responsible for supply chain functions initiated by a shipper even if they are performed by another person, such as a person who only holds food and physically transfers it onto a vehicle arranged for by the shipper.
  • A carrier is a person who owns, leases, or is otherwise ultimately responsible for the use of a motor vehicle or rail vehicle to transport food. The carrier is responsible for all functions assigned to a carrier even if they are performed by other people such as a driver.
  • A receiver is any person who receives food after transportation, whether or not that person represents the final point of receipt for the food. A receiver does not include an individual consumer or others s who are not in the business of distributing food.

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Why FSMA and Why Comply?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases. With proper food handling and transportation practices, these incidents are largely preventable.

With the proposed Sanitary Transport of Human and Animal Food act (STHAF), the U.S. government is introducing new rules and regulations to assure the safety of food throughout the supply chain. These directives will create new requirements for food manufacturers, processors, transporters and distributors that must be followed.

Besides the obvious benefits of compliance to customers and consumers, shippers and carriers that do not comply can be subject to a wide range of penalties.

Questions about compliance? Email


When Do I Have to Comply?

The Sanitary Transport of Human and Animal Food is expected to be finalized on March 31, 2016. There will be a 12 month adoption period with the final rule expected to take effect on March 31, 2017.

Questions about compliance? Email


How Can I Get Help?

There a variety of devices and applications designed for temperature monitoring and control of refrigerated vehicles. These solutions enable carriers to perform functions like pre-cool trailers, monitor for temperature violations and provide a complete temperature profile during the trip.

Specifically, with this technology, carriers can:

  • Maintain temperature control, adhere to thresholds across the entire journey and respond to temperature anomalies in real-time, ensuring safe food transport.
  • Pre-cool trailers remotely at the time required to ensure proper temperature and reduce fuel costs.
  • Easily deliver confirmation/proof of temperature control, trailer cleanliness, delivery acceptance and more with a form-based checklist while ensuring data retention.

To learn more about how your fleet can become FSMA compliant, contact us at