A new rule could drastically change how grain movement is handled around Iowa.
In the Food Safety Modernization act (FSMA), there are seven parts: Three involve preventative control plans for animal food, human food, and produce; another is for third party auditors, the independent people who verify food safety; there's a rule for foreign suppliers; and one for intentional adulteration, or intentionally putting bad stuff in food or grain.
But the last part, and most recently implemented, is sanitary transportation.
Dr. Charles Hurburgh an ISU grain quality specialist says that covers imports, exports, and everything in-between, "The sanitary transportation rule will probably have as much impact on grain and feed as any of the other components, maybe more, because it puts the responsibility on shippers and receivers, both, of food or feed products to assure that they're loading a clean container."
That means the trailer for a semi or a wagon on a farm and it doesn't matter who's driving. The shipper and receiver of food or grain have to be able to ensure that containers are clean and free from hazard.
That will require a lot of record keeping, according to Hurburgh, whether you're in a grain elevator or a feed mill. It could even mean a farmers market producer bringing their produce to town has to clean up their old pickup and record it.
Hurburgh says, "My council to everyone is start some simple record keeping. Don't get too complicated with it. Maybe it's a modification of the scale ticket, another line in the IT or something like that. Just some simple things that would indicate trailer ID, previous cargo."
Hurburgh adds that the FDA does not have a lot of resources to enforce the sanitation in FSMA, but periodic FDA audits will likely include checking for records.
On April 18, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration also published a final rule protecting employee whistleblowers, who report to FSMA, from employer retaliation.