Pennsylvania Dept of Ag along with the PA State Police conducted inspection on 140 refrigerated commercial food delivery vehicles. According to the release "No citations were issued June 28, although multiple products were discarded due to being outside of acceptable temperature parameters. One warning letter was issued to an out-of-state company clarifying Pennsylvania food code and reasons for product disposal." As they noted, warm delivery vehicles are a special concern in the warmer months.
As per the Sanitary Transport of Food rule, temperature must be properly maintained throughout the shipment and delivery of the food items. It is the shipper's responsibility to ensure this. But clearly, there are issues that need to be corrected.
PA Gov News Release
Code R.E.D. Enforcement Efforts Ensure Safety of Food Supply During Transport
Initiative Leverages Expertise of Agriculture Department and Pennsylvania State Police
Harrisburg, PA - A partnership between Pennsylvania State Police and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture food sanitarians is ensuring the safety of foods while on the road, especially during the summer months.
Operation Code R.E.D., for Refrigerated Enforcement Detail, most recently held a blitz June 28, inspecting 140 commercial vehicles and large trucks at 13 locations across Pennsylvania. State police troopers stopped the vehicles at checkpoints, where food sanitarians inspected carriers to ensure that food was kept at safe temperatures and that cargo areas were sanitary.
“When we have opportunities to work together, Pennsylvanians are safer for it, and through Code R.E.D, we can provide greater consumer protection across a vital link in the food supply chain,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “We not only regulate, but we educate, so drivers can better understand the regulations of Pennsylvania’s food code that together keep our food safe from farm to fork.”
The inspections are particularly important in warmer months, when long transport times, warm weather, and full sunlight can tax refrigeration units.
As with inspections of food establishments like restaurants, cafeteria kitchens and home processors, most problems were corrected on-site.
No citations were issued June 28, although multiple products were discarded due to being outside of acceptable temperature parameters. One warning letter was issued to an out-of-state company clarifying Pennsylvania food code and reasons for product disposal.
Food sanitarians have trained state police to spot potential violations in the course of their routine vehicle inspections throughout the year. Troopers then contact food sanitarians who correct the issues.
“Cooperation between agencies is important in initiatives like this one to keep the citizens of Pennsylvania safe,” said Major Edward Hoke, Director, Bureau of Patrol, Pennsylvania State Police. “This detail ensures that food shipments are sanitary and safe, especially during the warm summer months.”
Code R.E.D. inspections began in April 2013 and have occurred regularly since then. For more information, including food safety inspection reports, visit www.eatsafepa.com. Code R.E.D. inspection results are available by calling the department’s Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services at 1-866-366-3723.
Click for photos, audio and video from a mock refrigerated vehicle inspection.
Will Nichols, Agriculture – 717.787.5085
Corporal Adam Reed, State Police – 717.787.3159