In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) introduced a new law on the sanitary transport of food as part of the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). According to the new FDA food safety rule, shippers and carriers will be responsible for ensuring that proper temperatures were maintained for the duration of food transport within the United States.
The sanitary transport rule results from a consultation process between government and the food and transportation industries which lasted over two years. The rule applies to both human and animal food transported in open and bulk containers.
Who Must Comply with the Food Safety Rule ?
Shippers, carriers, and receivers transporting food in the United States by motor or rail vehicle are subject to the new rule. For the shipper, it means the company will have to provide proof that it maintained appropriate temperature controls at the shipping staging area prior to transferring the load to the carrier vehicle.
The carrier in turn is required to document two things: 1) the transport vehicle was pre-cooled to the appropriate temperature prior to the load transfer; and 2) appropriate temperatures were maintained for the duration of the trip. The carrier must ensure that the food was delivered to the receiving location at the appropriate temperature. The receiver may, upon demand, request a report both from the shipper and carrier to confirm appropriate temperatures were maintained from point-to-point.
FDA Food Safety Rule Compliance Deadline
The FDA allotted timeframe to comply with the new rule is one year from the date of publication for larger fleets (April 2017). Small fleets have two years to comply (April 2018).
Temperature Monitoring is Essential to Sanitary Transportation
One of the key responsibilities under the food safety rule is the proper refrigeration of food during transportation. Telematics and temperature tracking solutions can assist with fleet compliance to the new guidelines.
The Valor Temptrac solution available on the Geotab Marketplace is Cold Chain Custody compliant, meeting both the US FSMA and European EN12830 requirements. The solution provides real-time temperature monitoring of your stationary and mobile refrigerated assets, anywhere, anytime. The Temptrac kit comes with two pre-programmed long lasting wireless sensors that allow you to track two temperature zones independently with the option of expanding to four if necessary.
How Trailer Temperature Tracking Works
There are four components to the Valor TempTrac temperature tracking solution: sensors, CAN bus, Geotab GO device, and antenna.
- Internally-mounted sensors simultaneously monitor and record 0.5 degree trailer temperature changes in real-time.
- An antenna transmits data wirelessly from the sensors to the CAN bus and Geotab GO telematics device. In addition to trailer temperature data, the Geotab GO device collects a wealth of GPS location info and engine data.
- Data can be accessed and managed through the MyGeotab fleet management software. Fleet managers can set customized temperature thresholds and immediate alerts for out of range breaches. The driver receives immediate SMS or email alerts for temperature changes over and under the pre-set range.
Temperature tracking doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple plug-&-play installation of the Valor TempTrac/Geotab solution means that a truck or trailer will be up and running in 20 minutes, providing immediate temperature visibility.
Seamless integration with telematics provides added-value to the fleet in addition to meeting your end-to-end cold chain management needs.
Protecting Safety with Data-Driven Technology
The FDA’s new rule is a step forward for food safety and will help protect millions of people from foodborne illness. Temperature tracking technology will play an important role in increasing monitoring accuracy and improving safety in the food supply chain.
Data-driven solutions are only as reliable as the sensors that capture them. It’s critical to select sensor technology that is robust, reliable, and precise. A comprehensive solution will track temperatures through the life of a shipment, and also show trends over time and provide driver alerts. Understanding temperature throughout the chain of custody enables shippers to deliver food safely and confidently to their customers.
Valor TempTrac Reefer Temperature Monitoring – Valor TempTrac monitors up to four temperature zones simultaneously and transmits temperature readings through your Geotab GO device to MyGeotab in real time. Companies that ship fresh produce, frozen goods, or high-value assets such as pharmaceuticals via refrigerated transport can benefit from this solution.
- Real-time monitoring of temperature, samples every four seconds, transmits every ten seconds, or 1 degree temperature change.
- Immediate SMS or email alerts for over- and under-temperature changes.
- Track temperatures through the life of a shipment and trend temperatures over time.
Valor is a research and design institute as well as a manufacturer of advanced Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems. Their Tire Pressure and Temperature Monitoring System (TPTMS) has been specifically engineered to meet the challenges of fleet management in reducing tire maintenance and fuel costs while increasing safety.