Implementing a Traceability System That Meets Global Food Safety Standards
10th October 2019
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Every food manufacturer or distributor is familiar with the steps and processes involved to comply with global food safety standards. But one thing that some manufacturing companies and distributors may not be aware of is that there are software and systems which can help with safety initiatives. One crucial aspect that every stakeholder focuses on is traceability. This article will guide you on how to implement a traceability system that meets global standards.

What are these global safety standards?

In the era of globalization, product recalls have fuelled the need to improve regulatory compliance. Government agencies, food manufacturing companies, as well as consumers, need to understand these regulations and adhere to them. Now more than ever, it is essential to implement a traceability system that can record and store data at every stage of the process. Everyone involved in producing, distributing, and manufacturing food products needs to ensure that their efforts to implement a tracing system comply with the requirements of regulatory agencies. Some of these food safety standards include:

  • Global Food Safety Initiative or GFSI
  • GS1 Global Traceability Standard. This standard is widely used around the world and specifically applies to the US fresh produce industry.
  • Safe Quality Food Institute or SQFI 2000
  • FSSC 22000 or Food Safety System Certification

Knowing these standards and the agencies that implement them is the first step when a food manufacturing business plans to scale up in terms of production and customer reach.

Traceability systems are not created equal

While most food manufacturing companies already implement some form of a traceability system, not all are equal in terms of features. In choosing traceability software to use for your company, the following are important considerations:

  • The amount and extent of data the system can capture and record.
  • How far backward or forward into the supply chain can the software track?
  • How precise is the system in pinpointing product movement?
  • What are the integration technologies available in keeping records?

Apart from the characteristics mentioned, you also need to look at accuracy in tracking and recalling products. Proving that you can efficiently implement tracking and product recall is also essential in scaling up your business.

The many aspects of food production tracking

You can imagine food production as a layered process where individual processes are stacked on top of others. An effective tracking and tracing system will allow you to peel each layer and find out the root cause of the problem. Most importantly, it is predictive in a way that you know precisely where the product went. Therefore, an excellent food traceability system can:

  • Perform lot tracking for every shift and every raw ingredient
  • Track ingredients considered as allergens
  • Effectively track and trace ingredients imported from other countries
  • Facilitate implementation of fast product recall when needed

An underlying principle that determines the effectiveness of a traceability system is in the level of detail. The data captured and stored should not only include what, when, and how, but also indicate who was responsible for each stage of the production process. Not only will this help in pinpointing accountability, but it also ensures quicker issue resolution.

About the Author

Tom Clark

Member since: 26th November 2018

Having enriching experience in the world of digital marketing, I have created a niche for myself in the industry. The primary focus lies in writing, blogs, articles and different stuff that help businesses...

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