Keep Supply Chains in Compliance with FSMA

by Scott Vigneault, on March 28, 2017

Staying in compliance with FDA rules and recommendations is critical for all food supply chain participants.
Staying in compliance with FDA rules and recommendations is critical for all food supply chain participants.
No company that plays a part in the food supply chain can afford to forget about complying with Food and Drug Administration rules. Right now, that means the Food Safety Modernization Act. The most recent additions to the law rolled out between 2015 and 2016, and companies must come to grips with the legislation or risk serious legal penalties.

FSMA contains language related to product tracing, which is an essential element for any food producer or handler to posses. Specifically, the next few years will see pilot programs for traceable produce, leading up to the potential implementation of solid, industry-wide standards. In the meantime, it's time to move ahead with strategic initiatives that ensure all goods are traceable.

Tracking produce from field to distributor to table is essential in case of a recall.Tracking produce from field to distributor to table is essential in case of a recall.

Establishing traceable supply chains
The ability to follow products through all steps of the supply chain is indispensable. The FDA must be able to collect all the necessary details during a recall because of an illness, bacterial outbreak or other problem relating to a company's products. Food Safety Magazine recently pointed out how produce providers in particular can make their items more visible. They can divide items up by lot and production shift, then establish a coding system for finished lots that can be followed as the items are distributed.

The food service companies that receive produce will be able to use the aforementioned system to determine exactly where their ingredients came from. In case of a problem, the recall is quick and efficient to carry out, with the precise source of the produce verified.

Power of barcodes
When companies employ barcode labeling and use the related software to follow their items through the supply chain, they gain accurate and comprehensive records of their production. Sharing the information with partners allows organizations to set up traceability trails no matter where items end up. As federal regulations evolve, such forward-thinking systems can help companies change with the times and stay ahead of the curve.

For more on food & beverage labeling check out our webinar on "Making the Case for Expanded Traceability in the Food Supply Chain."

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Topics:Supply ChainRegulatoryFood & Beverage

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