Refrigerated Transportation Best Practices Guide

In April 2016, the Food and Drug [Title]Administration (FDA) published its final rule for the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food (STF). The rule, which became effective on June 6, 2016, established requirements for shippers, loaders, carriers by motor or rail vehicle and receivers involved in transporting human and animal food to use documented sanitary practices to ensure the safety of that foodThe goal of the final STF is to prevent practices during transportation that create food safety risks, such as failure to properly refrigerate food, inadequate cleaning of vehicles between loads, and failure to properly protect food.

To help key industry stakeholders stay in compliance with the rule, the International Refrigerated Transportation Association (IRTA), a Core Partner of the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), developed the Refrigerated Transportation Best Practices Guide. The following guide has been developed primarily for refrigerated carriers utilizing truck, trailer and multi-temperature means of transporting food.

This guide is free to all industry stakeholders. Select a category below to download the guide. If you are a member of the media or are interested in republishing the guide or quoting content found within the guide, please adhere to our Copyright Policy and republishing guidelines. For questions, please contact Laura Poko at

GCCA Members – Download

GCCA Nonmembers – Download 

About the Guide

Refrigerated Transportation Best Practices Guide

The Refrigerated Transportation Best Practices Guide assists shippers in understanding and preparing qualified – and attainable – food safety plans and transportation requirements, and offering carriers, loaders and receivers a clearer understanding of expected practices so that they can be prepared to deliver.

Summary & User Guide: FDA’s Safe Transportation of Food Final Rule

This summary and user guide provides the reader with useful information to better understand and become compliant with the FDA’s recent final rule for the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food (STF). The goals are: 1) To guide the user in a better understanding of the FDA’s STF final rule; and 2) To provide the various categories of service providers in the integrated industry, including shippers, loaders, carriers and receivers, with information that will assist with final rule compliance and adoption of industry best practices.

Found at the end of summary and user guide is the Sanitary Transportation of Food Compliance Matrix, which helps readers to identify specific compliance requirements included in the STF rule, the respective roles of shippers, loaders, carriers and receivers, and the section of the Best Practices Guide that includes guidance on how to comply.

Click here for a recording of GCCA’s recent webinar detailing the STF rule and how to use the guide.

About the Authors

The paper was developed by members of an IRTA Task Force. Special acknowledgement to the authors:

  • Patrick Brecht, Ph.D. – President, PEB Commodities, Inc.
  • Don Durm – Vice President – Customer Solutions, PLM Trailer Leasing
  • Bud Rodowick – Strategic Relations – Food Safety & OEMs, Thermo King a