FDA's Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food

June 17, 2014

Philip J. Austin

Download this Public Interest Comment (PDF)


The proposed regulation would establish criteria for sanitary transportation practices, such as properly refrigerating food, adequately cleaning vehicles between loads, properly protecting food during transportation, and strengthening record-keeping standards. This rule would build upon current requirements for shippers, carriers by motor vehicle and rail vehicle, and receivers engaged in the transportation of food, including food for animals, to use sanitary transportation practices to ensure the safety of the food they transport.

According to FDA’s proposed rule, “Isolated incidents of insanitary transportation practices for human and animal food and outbreaks and illnesses caused by contamination of these foods during transport have resulted in concerns over the past decades about the potential that food can become contaminated during transportation.” Findings of an Interstate Food Transportation Project, released in 2007, and a 2009 report of a study conducted for FDA further increased concerns about food transportation safety. The two studies examined baseline practices in the sectors involved with food transportation and found multiple areas where food was at risk for contamination. This proposed rule seeks to ensure that appropriate sanitary practices are followed during all stages of food transportation, and, through increased record keeping, determine during which stage of the transportation process food has been adulterated.

As a part of its ongoing Retrospective Review Comment Project, the Regulatory Studies Center examines significant proposed regulations to assess whether agencies propose retrospective review as a part of their regulations, and submits comments to provide suggestions on how best to incorporate plans for retrospective review into their proposals. To facilitate meaningful retrospective review after the promulgation of a final rule, multiple government guidelines instruct agencies to incorporate retrospective review plans into their proposals during the rulemaking process