Representatives from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) attended a board of directors meeting for the International Refrigerated Transportation Association (IRTA), a Core Partner of the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) recently.

The FDA representatives in attendance were instrumental in developing and writing the FDA’s Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food Rule (STF) and provided details on the STF rule to the group, made up of thought leaders in the temperature-controlled transportation sector.

In 2016, IRTA published the IRTA Refrigerated Transportation Best Practices Guide, a guide to assist shippers, carriers, loaders and receivers in understanding the STF rule and the best practices they need to observe to maintain compliance. The guide has since been downloaded by more than 600 industry stakeholders.

The visit with FDA represents the next step in a series of industry collaborations on the rule led by IRTA. Most recently, representatives of industry associations including the American Frozen Food Institute, Grocery Manufacturers Association, and American Trucking Associations participated in a roundtable hosted by IRTA in Washington DC during GCCA’s Assembly of Committees in August 2016.

IRTA is working collaboratively with FDA to further refine the IRTA Refrigerated Transportation Best Practices Guide as a primary guidance document to inform the perishables industry of important best practices.

“We commend FDA for working with us to ensure our industry is prepared for compliance with the STF rule and for recognizing IRTA as an authority on the proper handling of food in the temperature-controlled transportation supply chain,” said Corey Rosenbusch, GCCA president and chief executive officer. “GCCA has invested significant resources to create tools to both educate and inform the industry about this rule and how it impacts the entire cold chain.”

The guide is free and available to all interested parties for download at www.gcca.org/resources/transportation-guide.