The “one up and one down” thinking is on its way out. Moving food through a supply chain is a process that can be defined, measured, managed and corrected. Data loggers, infrared temperature readers and the like will be replaced by more sophisticated technologies that capture and record shipment locations, identification and conditions and tie those data to the container in question. Not having such data simply means that the FDA or USDA or even the Indiana State police can stop, seize, hold or destroy shipments and charge for the time it takes them do it.
With food moving through long distance international supply routes, importers of perishables into the U.S. and other countries sharing similar food safety views need to be aware of new FSMA food safety import rules designed to slam the door on unscrupulous suppliers and transporters.
Employing commonly accepted transporter practices that threaten to adulterate food is a dangerous game to play.
Dr. John Ryan is a retired Hawaii State Department of Agriculture quality assurance administrator and is president of the Sanitary Cold Chain (www.SanitaryColdChain.com). The company develops standards, training, inspection and TransCert transportation certification services for cold chain transporters. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.