Latest News for the Food Distribution Program

Proper Warehouse Protocol for Refusing A USDA Foods Shipment

Published: 89 days ago
" November 1, 2022 - Clarification to TEFAP and CSFP CEs of the protocol to be followed upon the instances when there is an inquiry, question, and/or desire to refuse a shipment of USDA Foods.
November 1, 2022 - Clarification to TEFAP and CSFP CEs of the protocol to be followed upon the instances when there is an inquiry, question, and/or desire to refuse a shipment of USDA Foods.

If refusal is on the basis of suspect condition of the USDA Foods (shifted pallets, damaged cases, out-of-range temperatures, failed fresh produce inspections, etc.), CEs must include the description of the issue, pictures, a copy of the Bill of Lading (BOL) and/or federal inspection certificate within the notification to TDA.

If refusal is on the basis of a seal issue (missing, broken, number not matching the seal number on the BOL), it is required to do the preliminary check of the trailer and product to determine if there are additional issues to report. At a minimum, the preliminary check should include checking the temperature of the trailer and visual check to the condition of the pallets and product and BOL paperwork. Include results of the inspection along with the request for refusal to TDA. CEs reporting seal issues without the checking of the trailer will be asked by TDA to do so before the request for refusal approval is sent to USDA.

Based on the information provided, TDA will make the determination to accept the shipment or forward the request to USDA for refusal approval. Only USDA has the authority to reject a shipment. TDA will communicate refusal and the request for rejection through the respective contacts at USDA Southwest Regional Office.

Please refer to section IX, Inspecting the Shipment, of the 709-5 for more detailed information of what and how to inspect a shipment prior to refusal.


Instruction 709-5, Rev 3 - Shipment and Receipt of USDA Foods.pdf (256.78 KB)

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