The Importance of Food Traceability Systems
When people refer to food traceability, they describe the ability to trace food products, such as the food components, finished product, and raw materials through the supply chain. This includes its start in manufacturing to its distribution on the market.
Traceability is an essential process in the food industry, especially in the past few years. Recently the number of food recalls has increased by 22%. As this number continues to grow, many food businesses are improving their food traceability system to try and prevent food recalls from happening so often.
If your company is in the food industry, then food traceability should be important to you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a food manufacturer or a wholesaler; you must know why it’s necessary to have a food traceability system in your business. In this article, we’ll go over some reasons why it’s so important.
A Necessity For Food Businesses
As you work on your company’s traceability system, your primary focus should be on public health. According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) statistics, around 2.4 million people in the UK will get sick with a foodborne illness every year.
This is a concerning number, but you can help significantly lower it through an effective traceability system. Although, no company can completely eliminate the risk of food contamination. As a food business, it’s your responsibility to make sure all your products are safe for the public.
With a good system, you’ll be able to know the location of your products at any time. You can also record, verify, and track your product’s movements through the entire supply chain. This allows you to quickly determine if a shipment has experienced an issue and where your products may have been damaged.
Ease Of Corrective Action
As mentioned earlier, food recalls are becoming more frequent. With an efficient food traceability system, you’ll be prepared for these occurrences by giving you transparency in your products movements. If one of your products happens to get contaminated, you’ll have a quick response because you’ll know where all the contaminated products are from that shipment. Even if they’re already being sold at stores, your traceability system will record the stores selling the contaminated products. This allows you to initiate a recall so stores can quickly remove the product and prevent customers from purchasing them.
Compliance With Regulations
In the UK, the FSA has several regulations that food businesses need to follow. If a company doesn’t adhere to them, the FSA can suspend your facility’s registration, issue a recall for your food, or issue you significant fines. You could also face much bigger penalties depending on how severe the violation is and the damage it causes to public safety; more prominent companies will face heftier punishments.
As a food business, it’s essential to make customers feel comfortable by being transparent through providing product information like the source of your ingredients, where it has been, and many more. You can also help build trust by informing your consumers about a situation when it starts instead of after the fact. If you want to incorporate a food traceability system into your business, you can find advanced software that’ll automate and improve your inventory processes.