Thermal Efficiency and the FSMA
The final provisions of the Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) legislation embody changes that could pose some of the most demanding compliance requirements on the food and food transportation industries starting this year with more regulations slated to be finalized in 2016. The FSMA law, which was signed into effect by President Obama in 2011, has been implemented in sections over the past four years. As the law goes into effect all U.S. food companies will be expected to comply within five years of final rule deadlines.
Sanitary Food Controls & Transportation Rule
The first phase to be implemented is the Preventive Controls for Animal Food and Preventive Controls for Human Food, which provides specifics of product testing and environmental monitoring. Companies need to update existing Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plans to account for all the hazards identified in the new law. The next focus is the Sanitary Transportation Rule, which requires sanitary practices for food transport. The implications for the truck transportation industry include ensuring that these perishable foods are not only transported at correct and consistent temperatures, as established by the product manufacturers and/or shippers, but also that those temperatures are recorded and can be verified by carriers.
Ensuring Thermal Efficiency
Maintaining the proper temperature during transport is crucial—and so is maintaining thermal efficiency of the transportation equipment over its useful life. While the onus is on the carriers to follow the regulations imposed by the FSMA, trailer manufacturers work closely with their customers to give shippers and carriers the best equipment to meet their needs. Trailers need to be well insulated, but not heavy. Often moisture intrusion in the insulation has added weight to the trailer and compromised thermal efficiency. The inevitable aging of the foam as the trailer got older led to a less thermally efficient trailer that could no longer maintain temperature.
Great Dane engineers have helped to solve these problems with advanced linings such as ThermoGuard. ThermoGuard helps resist moisture intrusion and resist loss of efficiency due to foam outgassing. Furthermore thermal efficiency is enhanced with Great Dane's modular panel foaming process that provides a more thermally consistent insulation.
In addition to ThermoGuard, Great Dane also employs other construction methods to help maintain thermal efficiency. The use of wood has been eliminated from refrigerated trailers, because wood acts as a wick that absorbs moisture. Great Dane has replaced the wood with composite material. Additionally, Great Dane uses adhesives to help reduce the need for fasteners.
Helping to ensure thermal efficiency for the life of the trailer is, and has always been Great Dane's goal. While regulations and laws may change and evolve, Great Dane trailers are ready to support shippers and carriers in FSMA compliance.