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Is Transportation the Weak Link?

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mind over matter

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 05:26 AM

Interesting article from QA Mag.

Is Transportation the Weak Link?

Link to complete article

As both food safety and food defense take on increased visibility and regulation, the industry is finding that a bevy of “TRs” are taking on significance as key buzzwords of the decade: Tracking, Traceability, and Transparency.

But even as processors are integrating systems to embrace these, they are finding that one TR in the chain of custody is often falling outside their systems, with questions arising on both sides as to how to best ensure safety and defense in Transportation.

Is transportation, in fact, the weak link in the chain?

Even if we put aside global shipments, trains, and planes, and focus solely on trucking, how can processors ensure the safety and defense of your foods, supplies, and ingredients as these roll out from your chain of custody across the under-regulated highways of the U.S.?

There is a law on the books: “Since 2005 Congress has been asking the FDA to write up a transportation standard,” said James Cook, SGS food technologist. “There is a law in place, but no regulations to go with it. Transportation may not be the weakest link, but it definitely is a weak link.”


One real example of a “worst-case scenario” that Ferree encountered at a previous plant involved a truck that arrived at the dock to pick up a shipment. When Ferree looked at the load already on the truck, he saw that it was carrying a tank of radioactive waste. “I refused to put our food into the truck—and the driver ask me why!” Ferree said. Although worst-case, it was also one of the easiest decisions he’s had to make. Worse is when you don’t know what a truck is carrying—or was carrying before it got to you, he said.



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Posted 09 October 2011 - 06:32 PM

Thanks for the interesting article MOM. I think it is a weak link as it is very difficult to control your product throughout the supply chain, especially when exporting overseas.

I once saw a delivery of food packaging with a part load of Christmas trees and another time with sheep pelts.

I'm sure anyone who’s been in the food industry for a while has similar stories to tell.


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