The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday announced an additional 60 days for public comment on its sanitary transportation rule under the Food Safety Modernization Act. The rule was first proposed in February.
The proposed rule would require certain shippers, receivers, and carriers who transport food by motor or rail vehicles to take steps to prevent the contamination of human and animal food during transportation.
It also would establish criteria for sanitary transportation practices, such as properly refrigerating food, adequately cleaning vehicles between loads, and properly protecting food during transportation.
Though the rule does cover animal feeds, it does exempt the transportation of fully packaged shelf-stable foods, live food animals, and raw agricultural commodities when transported by farms.
The proposal is the seventh major rule outlined by the FDA under its landmark food safety overhaul aimed at creating preventive foodborne illness measures rather than reactive measures.
FDA said it approved an extension to the comment period as a result of requests from a variety of groups, including the United Fresh Produce Association, the Agricultural Retailers Association, National Grain and Feed Association and National Oilseed Processors Association.
The FDA has already held three public meetings on the rule in February and March; transcripts can be accessed on the FDA website.
Comments may be directed to the Federal Register, docket FDA-2013-N-0013.