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On January 4, 2011, US President Barack Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).[1] The law’s aim is to shift the focus on food safety from responding to problems to preventing them. FSMA accomplishes this by providing new enforcement authorities to the FDA to help it achieve higher rates of compliance through risk-based, prevention-oriented safety standards to better respond to and contain problems when they do occur. The law also contains important new tools to better ensure the safety of imported foods and encourages partnerships with state, local, tribal, and territorial authorities.

Since 2013, the FDA has published in the Federal Register those FSMA-required regulations that provide the framework for the law’s preventive-oriented approach. On April 6, 2016, the FDA published the final rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food (Final Rule).[2] The Final Rule establishes requirements for shippers, loaders, carriers by motor or rail vehicle, and receivers involved in transporting human and animal food to use sanitary practices to ensure the safety of that food. Because of limitations in the laws, the requirements do not apply to transportation by air or ship. As compared to the proposed rule[3], the Final Rule made some notable changes to the scope of covered entities and the definition of “transportation operations” and added clarifying language to the new requirements.

For a more detailed analysis, please see our LawFlash on the sanitary transportation of human and animal food Final Rule.

The FDA is planning a webinar on April 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. eastern time to present key pieces of the Final Rule. More information on the webinar can be found on the FSMA website.