Understanding the Importance of Food Traceability Systems

Food traceability refers to the ability of a business to track down the movement of different food components, raw materials, and finished food products throughout the supply chain, covering manufacturing, processing, as well as market distribution of food items.

In the recent years, the importance of traceability in the food industry has grown by leaps and bounds. A staggering number of food recalls is one of the reasons behind the increase in food traceability implementation. More and more businesses are now looking to prevent food recalls by investing in tracking technology for food.

Food traceability is of significant importance to all the players in the food industry, including the producers, retailers, and wholesalers. However, there are some obstacles to implementation of food tracking and management systems.

Why Do Businesses Need a Food Traceability System?

  • Addressing public health concerns is one of the foremost priorities for any food related business. However, millions of people still suffer from foodborne illnesses each year. This risk can be reduced significantly by implementing an effective traceability system.
  • The current location of any product can be identified with the help of food traceability. It is also possible to track, record, and verify the entire history of a product throughout its supply chain. Therefore, if there is any issue with the supply chain, it is possible to trace the product’s point of origination using a lot tracking system.
  • Recalls are a common concern for the food industry. A food traceability system provides the much needed transparency and visibility about the supply chain so that businesses can initiative corrective actions. Also, businesses can respond quickly because they know the exact location responsible for the recall.
  • Compliance with regulations is yet another key area where a food traceability system can be of great help for any food business.

Effective Food Traceability System Criteria:

If you are a food business interested in implementing a food traceability system, it is important for you to have clear understanding about what constitutes an effective traceability system. Mentioned below are the four most critical attributes of a traceability system for food businesses.

Documentation:  Proper and adequate documentation is one of the foremost requirements of an effective food traceability system. A business implementing such systems must have easy access to detailed records. Depending on the food product manufactured by the business, these records should include contact information of suppliers, list of products provided by these suppliers, lot identification details, contact information of customers the business supplies to, origin of the ingredients, expiry dates, delivery dates, etc.

Inventory Tracking and Management: An efficient lot tracking system is essential for maximising food traceability. Invest in a top notch lot tracking software because it will help you track down everything in real time, from raw materials to finished food products. It is also necessary for avoiding recalls and minimising your losses.

Emergency Preparedness: Preparedness for emergency response is one of the hallmarks of an efficient system for food traceability. Whenever an issue arises, taking quick action is necessary.  A great lot tracking system allows correcting the issue quickly and helps avoid serious health concerns for the customers.

Honesty and Transparency:  The reputation of a food business can be damaged severely by recalls. Though a traceability system is extremely useful, it doesn’t provide a no-recall guarantee. Therefore, in the event of a recall, be honest and open with your customers.

At Lumix, we provide a wide range of services to help food businesses thrive. If you have more questions about food traceability and its importance, please get in touch with our experts.