The biggest myth in the produce business; More on coming trucking regulation - The Packer

The biggest myth in the produce business; More on coming trucking regulation

09/27/2011 08:26:00 AM
Tom Karst

As expected, the level of contamination risk posed by the improper transportation and
storage practices noted above varies across food sectors. Raw seafood, raw meat and poultry, and refrigerated raw and ready-to-eat foods have the highest overall risk (in descending order) across all modes of transit followed by eggs and egg  products, frozen foods, and fresh produce. Packaging materials and non-perishables have the lowest overall risk.

In addition to areas where food may be at risk for microbiological, chemical, and/or physical contamination, we also examined the range of preventive controls that may help eliminate/mitigate these risks to food during transport and storage. Our analysis identified the
following seven (7) controls with the broadest applicability across all food sectors and modes of

Employee awareness and training

Management review of records

Good communication between shipper, transporter and receiver

Appropriate loading procedures for transportation units

Appropriate unloading procedures for transportation units

Appropriate documentation accompanying each load (i.e., tanker wash record, seal
numbers, temperature readings, time in-transit and time on docks, etc)

Appropriate packaging/packing of food products and transportation units (i.e., good
quality pallets, correct use of packing materials)

This study serves as a preliminary assessment of current food transportation and holding
practices for food commodities. Both the lack of literature on the subject and the broad nature of the expert elicitation suggest a need for further study regarding food safety hazards involved infood transportation. In particular, the food transportation industry may benefit from a baseline quantitative assessment of both the frequency and  severity of food safety hazards and the implementation of various safe food transportation practices and preventive controls.

So there you have it.  FDA has their "top men" working on truck regulations as we speak. Considering how long it has taken for these regulations to unfold, I wouldn't be holding my breath, however.

Meanwhile, life is getting no easier for truckers and the supply chain that uses them.

The USDA weekly report on trucking rates reveals that the going rate for a load from California's Kern District to Boston was $7,700 to $8,200 on Sept. 21, up from $7,000 to $7,600 at the same time last year. Diesel prices on Sept. 21 averaged $3.83 per gallon, up from $2.96 per gallon the same time a year ago.

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