Produce season is an exciting time each year in the transportation industry. As we see an increase in produce being moved around the country, key safety guidelines need to be followed.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched the Food Modernization Safety Act (FMSA) to ensure products are transported safely. This act was created to focus on maintaining food safety while transporting produce.
Here are three tips, inspired by the FMSA, to help you move produce safely and efficiently:
Vehicles Must Be Clean and Well-Maintained
First and foremost, vehicles need to be clean to prevent contamination. Knowing what type of product will be loaded into a trailer is essential. Trailers must be well-maintained and suitable for the product that will be loaded.
Cleaning and sanitizing the trailer will ensure requirements are met, and products won’t be compromised during transport.
Products Must Be Kept at a Safe Temperature
Carriers should ensure trailers are maintained with adequate temperature controls and products are kept at required temperatures while in transit. It’s also vital that products do not encounter cross contaminants or other nonfood products that could be harmful to shipped produce.
Cross-country freight is susceptible to temperature fluctuations, so using the correct trailer type is very important. During the early summer months, protection from freeze can be required.
Carriers Must Be Properly Trained on Safe Transport
The best way to maintain FSMA requirements is proper training. Every carrier and driver should be appropriately trained to comply with FSMA requirements. This ensures that everyone in the process knows how to handle the product appropriately.
Properly trained drivers and carriers know their equipment is well maintained, and the equipment is cleaned regularly. They also know the requirements during transit and what is needed for safe transportation.
Following the FMSA guidelines is essential in treating products appropriately and delivering client goods safely. Adhering to those guidelines and following the three steps listed above will help you securely handle produce and avoid product loss in the long run.
The England Carrier Services (ECS) division offers various services for carriers ranging from maintenance to support. As ECS members, carriers have access to nationwide discounts on fuel and tires from dedicated team members committed to finding the best price. ECS also provides factoring services with benefits such as same-day funding to a bank account or fuel card. These options allow carriers the freedom to focus on growing their business while saving time and money.