April 1, 2016 10:00 AM, EDT

FDA Sanitary Food Transportation Rule to Soon Become Public

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on April 1 said it has submitted its final sanitary transportation rule for publication in the Federal Register. However, it could take several days to process before the rule is available to the public.

“The FDA is committed to sharing information about the final rule and how businesses can comply as soon as we are able to do so,” the agency said in a statement. The rule would require certain shippers, receivers and carriers who transport food by motor or rail vehicles to take steps to prevent the contamination of human and animal food during transportation.

The agency was under a federal court order to submit the rule by the end of March.

Part of the implementation of the Sanitary Food Transportation Act of 2005, the rule will establish criteria for sanitary transportation practices, such as properly refrigerating food, adequately cleaning vehicles between loads and properly protecting food during transportation.

The 2014 proposed rule said the regulation would apply to shippers, carriers and receivers who transport food that will be consumed or distributed in the United States and is intended to ensure that persons engaged in the transportation of food that is at the greatest risk for contamination during transportation follow appropriate sanitary transportation practices. The requirements outlined in the proposed rule would not apply to the transportation of fully packaged shelf-stable foods, live food animals and raw agricultural commodities when transported by farms.