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Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 83 / Friday, April 30, 20 - page 8 / 11

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wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with PROPOSALS PART 1

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Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 83 / Friday, April 30, 2010 / Proposed Rules

transportation and storage (i.e., physical, chemical, and biological contamination) and risk factors during transportation and holding; and

  • Best practices for food

transportation and holding (i.e., temperature control, increased security and tracking, proper loading/unloading practices, monitoring and ensuring the sanitation and condition of transportation vehicles, good communication, employee awareness and training, and pest control programs).

Through its literature review and expert opinion elicitation study, ERG identified the following 15 problem areas where food may be at risk for physical, chemical, or biological contamination during transport and storage:

  • Improper refrigeration or

temperature control of food products (temperature abuse). This may be intentional (abuse or violation of practices by drivers, i.e., turning off refrigeration units) or unintentional (due, for example, to improper holding practices or shortages of appropriate shipping containers or vessels).

  • Improper management of

transportation units or storage facilities to preclude cross-contamination, including improper sanitation, backhauling hazardous materials, not maintaining tanker wash records, improper disposal of wastewater, and aluminum phosphide fumigation methods in railcar transit;

  • Improper packing of transportation

units or storage facilities, including incorrect use of packing materials and poor pallet quality;

  • Improper loading practices,

conditions, or equipment, including improper sanitation of loading equipment, not using dedicated units where appropriate, inappropriate loading patterns, and transporting mixed loads that increase the risk for cross-contamination;

  • Improper unloading practices,

conditions, or equipment, including improper sanitation of equipment and leaving raw materials on loading docks after hours;

  • Lack of security for transportation

units or storage facilities, including lack of or improper use of security seals and lack of security checks or records of transporters;

  • Poor pest control in transportation

units or storage facilities;

  • Lack of driver/employee training

and/or supervisor/manager/owner knowledge of food safety and/or security;

  • Poor transportation unit design and

construction;

  • Inadequate preventive maintenance

for transportation units or storage facilities, resulting in roof leaks, gaps in doors, and dripping condensation or ice accumulations;

  • Poor employee hygiene;

  • Inadequate policies for the safe and/

or secure transport or storage of foods;

  • Improper handling and tracking of

rejected loads and salvaged, reworked, and returned products or products destined for disposal;

  • Improper holding practices for food

products awaiting shipment or inspection, including unattended product, delayed holding of product, shipping of product while in quarantine, and poor rotation and throughput; and

  • Lack of traceability for food

products during transportation and storage.

Through its literature review and expert opinion elicitation study, ERG identified the following seven preventive controls with the broadest applicability across all food sectors and modes of transport:

  • 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 (e.g., tanker wash record, seal numbers, temperature readings, time in-transit, and time on docks); and

  • Appropriate packaging/packing of

food products and transportation units (e.g., good quality pallets, correct use of packing materials).

II. Issues and Requests for Data and Information

As already noted, the data and information received in response to the 1996 joint ANPRM are dated and are of limited usefulness. The more recent data and information in the ERG report enhances our understanding of current baseline practices in the food transportation industry, problem areas that pose microbiological, chemical, and/or physical safety hazards to food during transportation and storage, and preventive controls that have the potential to address the problem areas.

The purpose of this document is to obtain data and information that would be more current and of greater relevance than the data and information we received in response to the 1996 joint ANPRM and to augment the more current information in the ERG report. Specifically, we request public

comments containing data and information on the issues and questions listed in sections II.A through II.G of this document.

A. Issue 1: Firms Subject to the 2005 SFTA

We are seeking data and information about firms that are subject to the 2005 SFTA and the food for humans or animals that such firms transport. Firms subject to the 2005 SFTA include shippers, carriers by motor vehicle or rail vehicle, receivers, and any other person engaged in the transportation of food. These data and information will enhance our understanding of the characteristics of the firms that are providing food transportation services.

Question 1a. What types of vehicles or methods are used to transport food by motor vehicle or rail vehicle (e.g., bulk tank trucks, cargo tanks, and freight containers)?

Question 1b. How much food, and what percentage of food, is carried by each type of vehicle on an annual basis?

Question 1c. What are the amounts and percentages of foods that are transported completely enclosed by packaging, not completely enclosed by packaging (e.g., grain, some fresh produce items), or in bulk tanks (e.g., juices, oils)?

Question 1d. What proportion of vehicles is exclusively dedicated to transporting foods? What proportion of vehicles transport both food and nonfood products?

B. Issues 2 through 6: Current Practices Used By Firms Subject to the 2005 SFTA

We are seeking data or information on the specific sanitary transportation practices that must be prescribed under regulations we establish under section 416(c)(1) of the act.

1. Issue 2: Sanitation Practices

Question 2a. What industry standards exist for the cleaning of food transportation vehicles?

Question 2b. How are appropriate protocols established for cleaning vehicles (including bulk vehicles and nonbulk vehicles)?

Question 2c. How is the adequacy of cleaning vehicles (including bulk vehicles and nonbulk vehicles) assessed?

2. Issue 3: Packaging, Isolation, and Other Protective Measures

Question 3a. What procedures and practices are in place to prevent contamination of foods not completely enclosed by packaging during transport?

Question 3b. How are the physical integrity and physical security of a food

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