OOIDA provides assistance with food shipping mandate

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | 2/9/2017

The Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association is working to provide small carriers the information they need to be compliant with new requirements regarding the sanitary transportation of food.

Last year, the Food and Drug Administration moved forward on a new regulation regarding food transportation. According to the FDA, large carriers will be required to comply with the mandate by April 2017, and small carriers won’t have to comply until April 2018.

However, the reality is that small carriers won’t have that extra year.

Doug Morris, OOIDA’s security operations director, said he’s hearing that most shippers and brokers don’t plan to offer loads to any carrier, regardless of size, if they’re not meeting the new requirements by April 2017.

“If you’re an owner-operator and you have the small-business exemption, that’s fine from a government standpoint. But from the industry side, shippers aren’t going to ask if you’re a small business or not,” Morris said. “Come April 2017, they’re basically going to say that everyone is going to have to comply. Most of the shippers we’ve heard from have said that everyone is going to have to conform to the regulations.”

The FDA defined large carriers as businesses that employ more than 500 full-time employees.

The requirements for the carrier will include documented training that provides awareness of potential food safety problems that may occur, basic sanitary practices, and carrier responsibilities under the rule.

OOIDA offers an outline of the FDA rule on its website, as well as a video on Youtube.com that explains the rule.

OOIDA anticipates having a specific training program video for carriers on the Association’s website by mid-March. The course will be based on the FDA requirements, and carriers who have completed the OOIDA’s class will be able to receive a certificate of completion as proof of training.

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