Can you tackle a food safety scare without irreparable damages?

The ability to track numerous foods and animal feeds across various stages of production, processing and distribution, is traceability going by ISO 22005. Traceability gives a company the power to identify any product anywhere in the food chain. But why this sudden interest in food traceability? Food contamination disasters have occurred in the past as well.

Traceability in the food supply chain has assumed an importance of mammoth proportions in recent years due to more health conscious customers and the growing clamour for quality assurance. Rightly so since news reports about another consumer favourite being contaminated have become a regular feature. Stringent food safety laws have further dragged food traceability into the limelight.

The food industry is literally under the scanner when it comes to traceability. Regardless of the growing scrutiny, it is apparent that there exist gaps in the way traceability in implemented. Are not frequent reports of food contamination proof enough of this?

But the scenario is as complicated as it can get. A company into food or animal feed production sources from multiple suppliers/farmers. The situation is far more complicated for a larger organisation. How does a company, in this case, validate all the suppliers/farmers? In the case of a food contamination scare, withdrawing or recalling a product can be a costly nightmare. As the company lacks access to information about the origin of the material and processing history.

Traceability includes two key aspects, one, the ability to track and the other, trace. Efficient tracking requires knowing the destination of a product in the food chain and being able to monitor the movement of a unit and a batch of a product right from the manufacturing unit to the final point of sale, service or consumption. Whereas tracing involves storing holistic information about products in the food chain. Such as where the material was originally sourced from and the processing history. It can include just a product or batch of products in the supply chain. Tracing is a backward action while tracking is forward.

With efficient tracking and tracing in place, food manufacturers will have a clear idea of what went wrong and who will be affected.

How do food manufacturers go about ensuring traceability?

Food manufacturers like most other companies in other verticals tend to turn towards software solutions to tackle food traceability changes. The right software solution can make a whole world of difference while an unlikely fit can derail a food manufacturing company. When opting for a food traceability software make sure it:

  • Ensures complete transparency
  • Can meet customer requirements
  • Captures origin and processing details of products
  • Helps recall products efficiently in the case of a food contamination incident
  • Empowers you to easily identify the source of contamination from amongst the suppliers
  • Makes it easy to verify minute details of any product
  • Enables you to adhere to food safety regulations/policies whether local, regional, national or international

Source - http://foodsafetyhelpline.com/2016/02/why-is-traceability-in-the-food-chain-important-for-food-safety/

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