The reason we have food safety standards is to protect the lives of consumers. Food safety standards were established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) here in the US and internationally by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). These standards provide a way to verify and audit food manufacturing practices and products. Governmental bodies and national leaders are charged with setting these guidelines. As a result, following prescribed food safety standards when managing bulk food grade transportation will keep you and your customers safe. Learn more about these food safety protocols as these apply to your bulk transport process for your company.
Importance of Adhering to Food Safety Standards
The current US food safety system was set up by Congressional committees. It is managed by four agencies in the US including:
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- National Marine Fisheries Service
As a trucking carrier in the industry, you are responsible for maintaining these food safety standards. You are regularly inspected to see how well your drivers, carrier operations, and equipment stand up to the rigors of these standards.
It is about managing the bulk cargo including liquids and frozen food properly while in transit, which often involves sitting in traffic in 100-degree heat where perishable foodstuffs are commonly threatened. This includes any and all “domestic and imported foods that are marketed in interstate commerce, except for meat and poultry products,” according to the FDA.
All of these products must be stored and transported safely, but your part as a carrier is different from that of a processor and manufacturer. You are tasked with making sure these products arrive safely at the chosen destination without having a risk to the safety of the food-grade cargo. This includes tampering and spoilage of products by choosing to follow safety protocols for food inspections. However, there are other risks that your bulk transport corporation must consider.
Risks Involved in Food Grade Transportation
Consider that among “200 billion metric tons of food transported globally,” 35 percent is transported by land. That includes trucking providers including food grade tanker carriers, as well as and rail transport. Without the safe procedures for the storage and transportation of food, you are faced with risks for contamination. According to Food Protection Trends, several of the factors associated with improper or unsafe food transportation include:
- Damaged packaging
- Improper loading/unloading procedures
- Improper production practices
- Road conditions and construction areas
- Shipping containers not up to standard
- Temperature abuse
- Undesirable employee behaviors
- Unsanitary cargo areas
Take a look at how temperature abuse leads to contamination. When transporting food products, such as fresh strawberries or salmon, the FDA requires the refrigerated trailer to maintain a certain temperature range.
If a temperature dips or exceeds the temperature for a prolonged period of time, the food may spoil and be at a total loss profit-wise for the shipper, you as the carrier, and to the end consumer. Temperature abuse involves not documenting or maintaining the right temperature, which leads to spoiling. This is one example of a bad habit among drivers and employees that would need to be corrected to minimize this risk.
To further address food transportation risks, take a look at the “Guidance for Industry: Sanitary Transportation of Food” by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). You are faced with biological and chemical contaminants, such as backhauling hazardous materials.
Role of Carriers and Shippers
As one of many food grade bulk tanker carriers transporting food grade products in the US, it is your responsibility to maintain any risks associated with this process from pickup to delivery. The FDA sets the rule regarding the guidance and regulation of food and dietary supplements. This rule comes from the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). By following the requirements for vehicles and transportation equipment, as well as the transportation operations, you can ensure your food grade tank company complies.
This is vital. Failing to comply with FDA regulations to provide safe food transport results in fines, penalties, and loss of service for your company. If you are not complying with record-keeping, driver training, and documentation regarding you may be docked during a Department of Transportation (DOT) random or roadside inspection. Your Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) score will also fall, which adversely affects your licensing, insuring, and hiring abilities as a carrier.
Go for Food Grade Transportation Services at Freightlinx
Here at Freightlinx, our goal is to help you streamline the processes involved with managing bulk food transportation services. We are a licensed and bonded freight brokerage firm dedicated to serving food grade transport specifically for tanker trucking companies. Our goal is to provide food grade carriers with the best pricing for freight rates using mediation practices. This saves you and your customers’ money, which helps to boost your bottom line and ROI for your fleet.
Contact our agency at 877-429-5451 to speak with someone in support or to request additional information. You can also send us a message online and we will contact you asap regarding services for food grade tanker trucking companies.