IDFA, NMPF support proposed sanitary transportation rule goalsThe International Dairy Foods Association and National Milk Producers Federation have submitted comments to FDA regarding the proposed rule on the sanitary transportation of human and animal food.

Both organizations say they support the goals of issuing regulations, specifically the flexible and risk-based parts of the rule, though some areas of the rule need clarification.

The rule, required by FSMA, proposes to establish food safety and sanitary requirements for shippers, carriers by motor vehicle and rail vehicle, and receivers engaged in the transportation of food. FDA accepted comments on the proposed rule through July 30.

“IDFA and NMPF agree with FDA that there is no need to change current sanitary food transportation practices through regulatory requirements,” the comments states. “Today, food is safely transported and there is no identified need to improve upon current, voluntary industry practices.”

Suggested changes include aligning temperature language to current industry practices and consideration that short-term transportation may not need the same level of oversight as other shipments.

The National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) also submitted comments in support of FDA’s exclusion of shelf-stable packaged foods from the requirements.

“Shelf-stable foods, including food ingredients and food additives, fall within the general definition of foods regulated by FDA,” said Jennifer Gibson, NACD vice president of regulatory affairs. “As the proposed rule affirms, shelf-stable food is not potentially adulterated during transportation because it is not exposed to the environment; therefore, the FDA rightfully designates this category of food exempt from this proposed rule.”