Today traceability of the food supply chain isn’t just a government regulation. Many retailers, food service companies and restaurant chains are performing audits themselves. Why, you might ask. It’s simple, they want assurance that if they were called upon because of a food safety problem that they could stop the problem before their name brand is tainted and their reputation ruined. These problems are expensive and cause some companies everything, including the business itself.
In 2002, the US government enacted the “Bioterrorism Act” and it requires that food manufacturers comply with a recall of adulterated goods within a 24 hour timeframe. You must report lot and transportation traceability for all ingredients and packaging items that have made contact with the food.
In January of 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law and these regulations mandate even stricter guidelines. The government now has the authority to recall products themselves. The supplier of the product may be subject to civil penalties if they don’t comply with a government mandated recall.
Recalls happen for various reasons; food can be contaminated at many different steps - on the farm, in processing or distribution facilities, during transit and at retail or food service locations. A recall can also take place because an allergen isn’t listed on the food label or the food was contaminated because it came in contact with an allergen at some point during processing, foreign materials may be found in the batch or, cGMP regulations weren’t followed. However, all products are required to have a specific lot number that would allow for the product to be returned to the supplier if such an event occurred.
These regulations require backward/forward traceability of all products and their packaging; you must provide the following information during an audit: the name, address, phone, fax number, email, lot number or other identifier of the product or ingredient and the type of packaging and quantity per lot of the Company’s plant that had the product or ingredient immediately before you. You must have the date that you received it from that supplier. You are required to have the same information from the transportation company that delivered it to you along with the bill of lading number and the mode of transportation. You are also required to provide the same information when you ship the product to your customer.
bcFood records and retains the following:
- Records raw ingredient supplier data: lot number of product and packaging, name, address, phone number, fax number, email address, date of receipt, transportation carrier, bill of lading number and mode of transportation
- Records all relevant QC test data and retains the information permanently
- Records samples data and retains the data permanently
- Records shelf life and expiration dates of raw materials and finished goods
- Records location of inventory
- Records dates of receiving, movement, transfers, picking, staging, production
- Records allergens
- Records lot number changes as the product is produced; while tracking each lot number of stated ingredients
- Records of all relevant production activities, tests, inspections, analyses, incubations, evaluations and records of all scheduled processes applied to each batch and actions taken in relation to under processed foods shall be maintained
- Records Finished Good shipment data; lot number of finished good product and packaging, name, address, phone number, fax number, email address, transportation carrier, bill of lading number, mode of transportation, date of delivery and COA if applicable
- A complaint management system for handling complaints, investigation of complaint and resolution or recall of complaint.
bcFood provides you with a system that you can rely on to give you the data that you need when you need it.
Call us today if you are interested in a software solution that will give you all of the information that you need in one system to meet today’s tough regulations.
by Beck Consulting,