Food Safety Modernization Act


If you’ve ever wondered how the new Food Safety Modernization Act is going to affect your broker, you’re not alone.


The new rule now defines brokers as shippers, making them equally responsible for ensuring food safety during transport. The rule also clearly outlines the requirements for transportation equipment, maintenance of records, and carrier training.  Larger brokerages have one year to comply, while smaller brokerages will have two years to implement all the required changes.


This means that for the first time brokers must comply with regulations as if they were shippers. Producers will now be required to instruct the broker as to the requirements for the products safety and handling. Brokers will now be required to articulate those requirements to the carrier and maintain records of this communication for a period of 12 months.


How will this affect producers?

It’s simple. Producers will now need to select freight providers based on their ability to comply with these new regulations. It is now more important than ever to select a brokerage that specializes in refrigerated transportation in order to ensure compliance. Why? Because if you put your goods in the trust of most brokerages, who primarily arrange dry and refrigerated goods as a secondary commodity, they may be more prone to making errors that put your shipments at risk.


Failure to comply with these rules could lead to civil and criminal penalties if individuals are sickened by the food that went bad during transport.  It could also leave the broker exposed to significant out of pocket costs resulting in possible bankruptcy if the food becomes adulterated while in transit. The key to staying ahead of these regulations, and ensuring your companies safety, is to review your current freight providers level of compliance and look to companies that specialize in refrigerated transportation.


Look for brokers that have the following items in place:

  • Use refrigerated carriers only
  • Use carriers that have the ability to export temp measurements from their reefer unit
  • Have TMS (freight management system) for record keeping compliance
  • Have internal checklists/procedures on each order to ensure compliance


Reviewing your current broker will take some time, but it will potentially save you from foreseeable issues and let you keep your focus on your core business.




Managing Member

Columbia Fresh Transportation Services

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