The International Refrigerated Transportation Association (IRTA), a Core Partner of the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), has released three resources to help support industry compliance with the Sanitary Transportation of Food Regulation.

These resources were developed due to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issuing the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food (STF) ruling in April 2016 to improve safe, efficient movement of food worldwide through required, documented sanitary practices. The rule has the potential to hugely impact members of the temperature-controlled transportation sector, as shippers, loaders, carriers by motor or rail vehicle and receivers involved in transporting human and animal food must take action to comply.

To address concerns surrounding the rule, GCCA assembled a task force of representatives from IRTA member companies, including leaders in refrigerated trucking, third-party logistics, warehousing, manufacturers, and the scientific community. After months of discussions, the IRTA Refrigerated Transportation Best Practices Task Force completed work on three new resources related to the rule. 

The Refrigerated Transportation Best Practices Guide assists shippers in understanding and preparing qualified and attainable food safety plans and transportation requirements. This guide provides useful information to better understand and become compliant with the FDA’s STF rule. The Sanitary Transportation of Food Compliance Matrix helps readers identify specific compliance requirements included in the STF rule; the respective roles of shippers, loaders, carriers, and receivers; and the section of the Best Practices Guide that includes guidance on how to comply.

GCCA has held two roundtable events to bring together IRTA and other key industry stakeholders in discussions about the ruling and the new resources. The most recent was a roundtable held August 3 at the GCCA Assembly of Committees in Washington DC. Representatives of industry associations including the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and the American Trucking Associations contributed to the conversation.

The AFFI website  provides a Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) self-assessment tool, explained here:

AFFI’s FSMA Readiness Self-Assessment Program is now available. Developed in partnership with the Seneca Corporation, a leading provider of business process management solutions for government and corporate clients, this online self-assessment tool helps food facilities determine their compliance with the final preventive controls for human food rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Knowing an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, this unique tool is designed to help ensure the food industry is ideally positioned for the new food safety landscape created by FSMA.

The Self-Assessment Tool is available to AFFI members for $45 per facility and to non-members for $395 per facility.

For questions, please contact AFFI Vice-President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs Dr Sanjay Gummalla at sgummalla@affi.com or 703-821-0770.

"Through discussions during these roundtables we continue to hear that there concerns and a lack of awareness surrounding the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food rule—especially regarding defining the roles of all parties involved in the movement of food,” said Lowell Randel, vice-president of government and legal affairs–GCCA. “That’s why the new compliance guide and resources are so critical to the entire food supply chain and cold chain logistics industries.”

The three resources are free and available to all interested parties for download on the GCCA website by clicking here.

For more information about GCCA, go to www.gcca.org.