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Currently, no Federal regulations are in place related to food transportation, but many states and counties have the ability to regulate food in transport through state/local food safety laws. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) and the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) are working together to implement the Sanitary Food Transportation Act of 2005. This Act requires that FDA prescribe sanitary transportation practices to ensure that food (including animal feed) transported by motor vehicle or rail is not transported under conditions that may adulterate the food. See FDA Food Transportation website for more information. Also, see Guidance for Industry: Sanitary Transportation of Food.
The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has authority for inspection, embargo, and condemnation of food in transport under IC 16-42-1, IC 16-42-2, and IC 16-42-5. ISDH conducts Indiana Food Transportation Assessment Projects (IFTAP) on Indiana’s roadways coordinating with other agencies such as Indiana State Police (ISP), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and Local Health Departments (LHDs) to examine truck loads for food safety and defense concerns. The ISP assists by pulling food trucks aside for a food safety and defense inspection, while they conduct their ISP vehicle safety inspections. USDA APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program has participated and they inspect for certain permits and pests such as the Emerald Ash Borer on wood or plant trucks. HEA 1298 improves food safety during transport by requiring coordinated response efforts of law enforcement and public health agencies. The Indiana State Police (ISP), under IC 8-2.1-27, has authority to detain a motor vehicle used to tranport food if in noncompliance with ISDH Laws.
Since 2007, ISDH has inspected 505 food trucks finding 35 in violation (7%) and disposing of 25,657 lbs. of food. Violations vary from cross-contamination, food products out of acceptable temperature, and mislabeling of food. ISDH encourages food transporters to maintain refrigeration units so food is transported at the proper temperature, the load organized properly to prevent cross-contamination, and all food items are properly labeled so food may arrive at its destination wholesome and with no danger to human health. Food safety and defense training is recommend for any truck driver who transports food products.
Of the 505 food trucks, 43% have been secured by a lock and/or security seal. Locking and/or placing a security seal is important to ensure the integrity of the transported load. ISDH may break a security seal to inspect a truck load and a new ISDH seal will be placed along with a Seal Replacement Report, which is provided to the driver.