Maintaining foodgrade security top priority for carriers
Sep 1, 2008 12:00 PM
A Terrorist attack on the food sector would be a challenge to the United States in both economic and psychological terms, which is why maintaining transportation security is a top priority, said Russell Laird of the American Trucking Associations.
Laird presented an update on food security at the International Milk Haulers Association April 20-22 in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Food Protection Plan takes into consideration unintentional contamination as well as intentional, Laird noted. As a result of concerns for food security, the FDA has requested authority to require additional safeguards for the transportation sector, including mandating locks on tanker trucks transporting foodgrade products. ATA is reviewing the FDA proposal to determine how it would affect various sectors of food transportation.
At the same time, Laird said that the FDA is over-stretched because the demand for inspections is growing faster than available resources.
Laird noted that the Guide for Security Practices in Transporting Agricultural and Food Commodities is posted on the ATA Web site at truckline.com. The guide is the result of a voluntary cooperative effort of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference (AFTC) of ATA. It provides voluntary guidance for enhanced security practices within the agriculture industries.
The guide urges foodgrade transporters to develop and implement security plans based on identified exposures, utilizing the recommended practices in the AFTC Resources directory or other approved methodologies. It also recommends that information be shared on effective security practices within the industry and with external, qualified security professionals. The guide provides specific security suggestions for drivers to use as well as tips for advanced planning for emergencies.
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