Foodservice Supply Chains Must Be Proactive When It Comes to Food Safety

U.S. Census Data shows that Americans spent more money in restaurants and bars last year than they did buying groceries, with respective figures of $54.8 billion and $52.5 billion. This is great news for restaurants, but growing expectations among consumers when it comes to food quality and service must be met if this trend is to continue. The answer is in the network of foodservice supply chains

Diners are increasingly expecting fresh and diverse offerings, and the foodservice supply chains that serve them can be immensely complex. Getting the process wrong can ruin a restaurant’s reputation permanently.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 48 million people get ill from contaminated food every year in the country, and restaurant visits are behind three out of every five of these cases. Employee illness and food cross-contamination are big concerns that are hard to eliminate entirely, but many foodservice firms are making inroads by focusing on enhancing the traceability of food. Technology has allowed this to increase in leaps and bounds in recent years, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

Traceability is Vital

To effectively trace products throughout the supply chain, trading partners need to implement external and internal traceability processes so each partner can identify each traceable item’s direct source and direct recipient. GS1 standards are a common global language that foodservice operators can use to assist tracking, while Global Location Numbers can help with tracking essential locations.

New guidelines were recently added to the GS1 standards in an effort to implement case-level traceability using GS1-128 barcodes to capture information like production dates, batch or serial numbers, and other product data. This helps make the removal of affected products quicker and more precise.

In addition to improving food safety, traceability helps relay the information that conscious diners are increasingly seeking, such as animal welfare and locally grown designations. By getting traceability right, food service companies will be free to focus on finding new ways to enhance the dining experience.

This blog post was based off of an article from Food Safety Magazine. View the original here.

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