On April 6, 2016 the FDA published its final rule regarding the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) for Sanitary Food Transportation in the Federal Register.
There are many components and provisions as to what and who is covered. For the purpose of this piece we will be addressing the final point as it relates to temperature management for carriers.
Under the new rule transporters are tasked with preparing and deploying processes that explain how they will comply with provisions for temperature control as well as the methods they will employ to furnish this information to shippers and receivers.
Industry experts are urging carriers to adopt technology that facilitates compliance and effectiveness. As Dr. Patrick Brecht, president, PEB Commodities Inc., Global Cold Chain Alliance, and World Food Logistics Organization Scientific Advisory Council-Refrigerated Transportation said at the Mid America Trucking Show “temperature monitoring accuracy will be critical for temperature-controlled shipments. We could see increased claims right away due to inconsistencies in temperature reporting,” he said. “We may see less flexibility for temperature variations.
Additionally, drivers will need to be trained on temperature management and reporting requirements since temperature records for each shipment will need to be produced and retained for one full year.
There are some very sophisticated yet easy and cost effective ways to help with temperature management; for both regulation compliance as well as contractual compliance. Companies like Vehicle Tracking Solutions “VTS” provide temperature monitoring that works in conjunction with their fleet, driver behavior, and data analytics management platforms. They also ensure you are continually monitoring the cold chain during the delivery while being able to demonstrate proof of temperature management compliance with a simple click or automatically delivered report.
VTS Temperature Monitoring for Reefer Fleet Management
Improper temperature control is a primary reason why perishables and food cargo become ruined. According to a Hygeia’s Milk fact sheet, refrigerator temperatures for milk storage should be between 32F-39F with an optimal temperature of 33F. Conversely, for milk stored for even 1 minute at 41F it will lose one day of shelf life and for 3 minutes left out at 44F it will lose 4 days of shelf life. As a result of these types of vital monetary and safety situations, more and more food distribution companies are beginning to understand the benefits of effective cold chain and temperature management.
VTS is a telematics pioneer in tracking and monitoring of reefers and other assets that rely on accurate temperature control and monitoring. Please see below for some of the unique ways specialized companies like VTS can help you effectively and easily improve your Food Distribution operations.
Monitor Temperature Driven Operations for Increased Profitability
- Guarantee cargo temperature stays within the mandated range
- Sensor deployment that fosters automatic alerts should changes occur
- Reduce temperature-related cargo rejections and expensive spoilage claims
- Reduce re-delivery expenses
- Prevent cargo shortage and loss
- Monitor effective Reefer Unit performance.
Increase Profits and Reduce Vehicle Operating Costs
- Manage idling; reduce fuels costs
- Manage data from fuel sensors and automate alerts should fuel loss or theft occur
- Gas Card Automation
- Detect and resolve improper fuel invoicing, and eliminate unnecessary continuous vehicle usage.
- Full Vehicle Maintenance Module
- Track engine hours and mileage to decrease engine maintenance
- Monitor and track inspections, registrations, license expiration, oil changes, tire replacement, engine service part replacement etc.
- Utilize specialized and detailed vehicle management for increased productivity and decreased operating and maintenance costs.
Improve the Safety of Food Delivery
- Produce specific reports with a click that can be presented at delivery to ensure compliance with contractual requirements and regulations.
- Maintain an accurate historic data record of reefer temperature readings for temperature data retention compliance
- Share temperature control data for entire delivery duration
- Remove manual processes associated with U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and other perishable product safety regulation compliance
Effective Integration Management with Dispatch or Routing Systems
- Specialize in data sharing that allows for delivering visibility from your dispatch system or other system of record
- Send commands from dispatch systems such as reefer unit on/off, change temperature set points, poll trailer location and more.