CTA nearing completion of food safety project

OTTAWA (May 29, 2003) — While the news of a single cow confirmed to contain mad cow disease and U.S. concern over biological terror has pushed the issue of food safety back into the spotlight, the Canadian Trucking Alliance says it has been working on a program for its members that implements food safety standards and controls.

The issue goes back to 2001 when the Canadian Food Inspection Agency contacted the CTA to help develop a program based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) — an internationally-recognized system used for controlling food safety. HACCP forms the core of Canada’s Food Safety Enhancement Program (FSEP), and requires that processors implement controls throughout production.

At that time CTA was receiving reports that shippers of food products were becoming increasingly demanding on carriers, as the shippers themselves began to implement their own HACCP- enhancement programs. The CTA determined, though not a legal requirement, a HACCP program specifically for carriers would need to be developed or else national associations representing food shippers would develop their own programs that would influence the trucking component.

The project materials of the program, which is expected to be completed this summer, include a “core module” covering basic food safety practices relevant to all trucking operations, as well as product-specific modules which address unique requirements for temperature-controlled goods, fresh produce, bulk shipments and mixed loads. These modules contain all relevant legislative requirements, identify parties responsible for specific actions (shipper, carrier, receiver), and include checklists, standard operating procedures, and practical advice on ways to ensure the safety of food shipments during transportation. A code of practice and relevant training materials to assist carriers to implement the program are also under development.

Following development, the program will be subjected to a validation process using a trial implementation. Carriers looking for more information can contact CTA’s Ron Lennox at lennox@cantruck.com or by phone at 613-236-9426. For more information on FSEP and HACCP, click on Food Safety Enhancement Program (FSEP) at http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/polstrat/haccp/overvuee.shtml.

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