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Sanitary Food Transportation Act: The Wrong Message

Home > Cold Chain > Sanitary Food Transportation Act: The Wrong Message

You may debate the virtues of the FDA’s proposed Sanitary Food Transportation Act all day.
But as any trucking, warehousing or logistics professional will tell you, it’s simply not needed.
There’s no question that warehousing and transportation have always played an important role in
the quality of our country’s food chain and food safety in general. Just ask a grower who needs IQF and storage for a bumper
crop and a clean truck to deliver the harvest to hungry markets.

And yes, the temperature-controlled food chain has grown significantly in the past decade and
gives every indication of continuing to demand greater and greater accountability over food safety, product
environment, supply chain transparency and order accuracy. Today’s supermarket carries an
estimated 44,000 SKUs, many of which are restocked at virtually on-demand order cycles. These
challenges, however, are the result of the growing sophistication in customer purchasing. It is the
free market at work, rewarding those companies who are willing to invest in the technology,
training and systems necessary to meet those needs. It is an industry demonstrating continuous

Do these market dynamics require regulation to better function? Hardly. During a recent food
safety summit, a presentation by the Food Marketing Institute called out several reasons why
there is no justification for a formal transportation act:

  • The FDA cited only six events over the course of 36 years to justify the need for the regulations
  • None of these incidents involved the transportation of food by the supermarket industry.
  • The previous Interstate Food Transportation Assessment Project noted “little or no areas of concern” with large semi-trucks—the mode of transportation used by the supermarket industry.

Regulation is not only unnecessary; it sends the wrong messageinferring that our industry is not performing up to standardsand that is simply not true.


Hanson Logistics provides end-to-end temperature-controlled distribution, transportation, warehousing and supply chain services, including multi-vendor consolidation services to the nation's major retailers. As one of the largest providers in the US, the company operates a growing refrigerated transportation fleet and 9 facilities in the central states, totaling 39 million cu. ft. with more than 200 Hanson teammates.