Produce season is an exciting time each year in the transportation industry and for produce shippers across the country. As we see an increase in produce being moved around the country, there are key safety guidelines that need to be followed. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched the Food Modernization Safety Act (FMSA) to ensure carriers keep products safe. 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 ahead of time 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 important that products do not come in contact with cross contaminants or other nonfood products that could be harmful to produce being shipped. Cross-country shipments are susceptible to temperature fluctuations, so using the correct trailer type is very important. During the early summer months protect from freeze can be required as well.
Carriers Must Be Properly Trained on Safe Transport
The best way to maintain FSMA requirements is proper training. Every shipper, customer, or broker should ensure that the carrier and driver have been properly 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 important in treating product appropriately and delivering customer goods safely. Adhering to those guidelines and following the three steps listed above will not only help you securely handle produce, they will save you money by avoiding product loss in the long run.
The England Logistics Full Truckload division offers a range of services for companies of all sizes. Dedicated team members are available day and night to offer solutions and assistance with all logistical needs. Regardless of the transportation mode, our market and seasonal specialists provide flexible shipping solutions and are committed to helping every step of the way.