WASHINGTON – The US Food and Drug Administration released a final rule aimed at enhancing and preserving the wholesomeness of human and animal food products during transport.

The final rule implements the Sanitary Food Transportation Act of 2005 (SFTA) which requires that those involved in the transport of animal and food products by rail or motor vehicle to follow best practices for sanitary transportation of food products. The rule requires proper refrigeration of food, adequate cleaning of vehicles between loads and proper protection of food during transport, FDA said.

Stakeholders in need of assistance to comply with the new regulation can access the FDA FSMA Food Safety Technical Assistance Network for help. FDA also has plans to develop an online training course to help industry meet training requirements under the rule in addition to federal compliance guidance.

“We recognize the importance of education and training in achieving widespread compliance, and we are committed to working with both industry and our government partners to ensure effective implementation of all of the new food safety rules under the Food Safety and Modernization Act,” Michael Taylor, FDA deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, said in a statement.

The rule applies to food transported within the United States whether or not the food is offered for or enters interstate commerce, FDA noted. Businesses would be required to comply with the new rule one year after publication, while smaller businesses will have two years to comply with the new regulation. More information about the final rule on sanitary transportation of human and animal food can be found on the FDA’s website.