Refrigerated Transportation Best Practices Guide

The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) final rule for the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food (STF) , which became effective on June 6, 2016, established requirements for shippers, loaders, rail or motor carriers, and receivers involved in transporting human and animal food. The goal of the STF is to prevent transportation practices 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 GCCA, developed the  IRTA Refrigerated Transportation Best Practices Guide. The guide was developed primarily for refrigerated carriers utilizing truck, trailer and multi-temperature means of transporting food. Select a category below to download this free guide:


GCCA Members - Download

Nonmembers - Download



Additional Resources


Found at the end of the guide is the Sanitary Transportation of Food Compliance Matrix , which helps readers 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.


Driver Training for Sanitary Transportation of Food (STF) Compliance

The International Refrigerated Transportation Association (IRTA), a core partner of the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), has developed a training program for drivers to become compliant with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Sanitary Transportation of Food (STF) rule. This training program meets regulatory requirements for driver training. 

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


Certified Cold Carrier Logo Certified Cold Carrier Program

The Certified Cold Carrier is a formal program aligning asset-based cold carriers and personnel with IRTA’s Refrigerated Transportation Best Practices Guide. The program will: 

>> Instill confidence with your customers—certification by an industry-based third party conveys impartial judgment based on a transparent standard.

>> Demonstrate your organization’s commitment to sanitary transport of food

>> Differentiate your organization from its competitors as an industry leader

>> Show your dedication to furthering the transportation and supply chain industries


About the Authors


The Guide 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


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