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January 31, 2014 1:00 PM, EST

FDA Proposes New Standards for Safe Food Transportation

Thermo King Corp.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Jan. 31 announced its proposed food safety rule requiring truckers carrying food, as well as the shippers and receivers, to use sanitary practices that ensure food does not become contaminated.

The 120-page proposal, mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011, will be published in the Federal Register on Feb. 5, the agency said.

“This proposed rule will help reduce the likelihood of conditions during transportation that can lead to human or animal illness or injury,” Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for food, said in a statement.

Specifically, the proposed rule would establish requirements on equipment, transportation operations, information exchange, training, records and waivers, FDA said. Among other provisions, the rule calls for adequate temperature controls and separation of food from nonfood items in the same load.

“Isolated incidents of insanitary transportation practices for human and animal food, and outbreaks and illnesses caused by contamination of these foods during transport there have resulted in concerns over the past decades about the potential that food can become contaminated during transportation,” the proposed rule said.