Traceability of food is tracing a product’s ingredients all the way back to its original producers and keeping track of all its elements from purchase till it’s transformed into a new lot through production.
In case of problems with a given lot (bacteria, shards of glass e.g.) it’s essential to recall all relevant products for destruction.
The companies responsibility
The individual food company trading or processing food isn’t required to document the trace to the original producer but only one link back and forth. The company is obliged to document the vendor of a given product and who it is sold to.
There are s no specific requirements for the internal securing of traceability, but it is recommended as good practice. If you produce cookies and use flour, sugar, and vanilla, you might not need to document the origin of each of these ingredients, who you’ve bought it from, and which lot they are from.
Many food companies choose to do so anyway to reduce the number of products in case of recalling and destructing.
Traceability demands do not only come from legislation. Many companies set even higher standards for traceability to their supplier than the law prescribes.
How to secure traceability
Traceability requires the following information:
- Supplier information: name and address, lot-number or date of expiry of the delivered products.
- Customer information like name, address, and information which lots the customer has received.
- The of the reception of the products from the supplier, date for sending and delivery of the customer’s products, or transaction date
- Information on the lot and the amount received and sold.