Food Industry & FSMA Requirements

Despite precautions, foodborne illnesses affect 48 million people every year. The FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law by President Obama on Jan. 4, 2011 and has become a driving force for improved food traceability throughout the supply chain.

Unique identification of products and data sharing is key amongst everyone in the supply chain in order to meet the FSMA requirements. Anyone with a role in the food supply chain must be able to identify where the product was received and where it was shipped. That way, in the event of a recall, the food could be more easily traced.

With fresh foods, the Product Traceability Initiative (PTI) aims even higher than FSMA regulations, focusing on case-level traceability for fresh produce by using GS1 standards for identifying and tracking products throughout the supply chain. PTI has become an industry model for driving whole-chain traceability.

This proactivity is something we definitely hope to see more of, but even in companies have great internal traceability, its not always easy to share their data with other partners throughout the supply chain.

The FDA is rumored to release further traceability guidelines in 2013, so its important for those in the food industry to work together to develop solutions—participate in industry working groups, stay active in trade associations, and attend conferences with an educational focus on traceability.

Using the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative can help those in the food industry meet and even exceed regulatory compliance. Learn more.