Generally, the food safety industry has embraced the “one-up and one-back” (OUOB) system to manage its traceability, allowing it to know where products came from and where they’re being sent or sold. However, this process lacks visibility in that users can only be sure of the last place their product was, and where it goes next in the multifaceted food supply chain.
While OUOB has been the go-to traceability method for many food companies, whole-chain, end-to-end traceability offers ideal safety and transparency—in line with the direction the food industry is fast-tracking towards. The value of seeing the entire past and future of each product is that companies can easily verify the safety practices of their suppliers, the origin and authenticity of the ingredients, as well as be aware of potential allergens.
This is end-to-end traceability has been driven forward in light of the changing regulatory landscape with the introduction of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP), and GMO Labeling Bill.
FSMA impacts all levels of the supply chain, pushing restaurants, retailers, suppliers, distributors and growers to bolster their safety and traceability practices. Four main criteria of FSMA include preventative controls to minimize risk of foodborne illness, supplementary inspections, enhanced partnerships with laboratories and institutions to help streamline mandates, and more stringent import safety requirements for foreign suppliers.
Given the increasingly complex food supply chain, traceability across the entire spectrum is critical for effective recall management and complying with these firmer mandates. With FSMA taking effect, companies can no longer lean on other parts of the supply chain when dealing with a contamination or quality issue—the brand is more on the hook than ever.
In terms of data management, some organizations record information within spreadsheets, while others stick to paper and physical file cabinets. Without a universal, whole-chain traceability software solution, tracking down the necessary information in a timely manner can be a daunting task resulting in delays that could put consumers’ lives at risk, as well as put the brand’s reputation and credibility in jeopardy.| | | Next → | Single Page