Apologies for slightly indirect continuation to yr post. i will try to "simplify" the overall context to yr specifics since i hv personally found this part the first conceptual hurdle to struggle with. Hopefully, FrankMaurice will "go with the flow".
No doubt this is a non-simple pair of topics.
It is also undoubtedly variable with regard to local, legal and other (eg FS standards) expectations.
I recently came across this Irish “Guidance” document which I don’t recall seeing here before. Occasionally intricate but very readable / well presented IMO.
tr1 - Product Recall and Traceability, 2013.pdf 335.92KB
The document attempts (in 68pgs) to present the EC perspective, noting the legal / non-legal but “best practices” involved.
Has been updated to 2013, presumably in particular view of recent, well-documented incidents, eg beef, sprouts.
Seems to (generically) consider many (all?) of the aspects discussed in this forum although not specifically designed with private standards in mind so that detail for specific elements (eg previous post) is variable. I suspect mesophile’s document corresponds to the width of the BRC interest. No doubt “diligence” is a UK potent factor, not to mention Lasagne.
I hv extracted a few sample portions for illustration :
The ability to trace and follow a food, feed, food producing animal or substance intended to be, or expected to be incorporated into a food or feed, through all stages of production, processing and distribution.
The removal of an unsafe food from the market when it may have reached the consumer and the notification of the consumer.
OBJECTIVES OF A FOOD TRACEABILITY SYSTEM
There are two objectives of a food traceability system:
1. To identify uniquely, a batch of food and the raw material batches used in its production, in a way which allows tracking the physical flow of the food forwards through the food chain to the immediate customer and tracing of the physical flow of raw materials backwards to the immediate supplier .
2. To create and maintain accurate traceability records that can be provided within a short time period for routine examination or investigation purposes at the demand of the competent authorities.
KEY STEPS IN DEVELOPING FOOD TRACEABILITY SYSTEMS
Step 1. Define the scope of the traceability system
Step 2. Decide on the optimal batch size
Step 3. Identify the traceability information needed, including:
• Information that must accompany food ingredients used by the food business operator.
• Internal process information that is needed to maintain traceability through food processing or preparation where applicable.
• Information that must accompany distribution of the food produced by the food business operator
Step 4. Establish a system of record keeping and retrieval
Step 5. Establish procedures for review and testing of the traceability system
Step 6. Document the traceability system
STEP 1. SCOPE OF A TRACEABILITY SYSTEM
Food business operators should define the scope of their traceability system before developing it. Traceability systems are composed of one or more of the following three elements, depending on the nature of the food business:
a) Supplier traceability: traceability of the suppliers of food and packaging to the food business operator. Supplier traceability is a legal requirement for all food businesses.
b) Process traceability: traceability of food and packaging through the operations within the food business operator’s establishment whether or not new products are produced. (Note: this is not a legal requirement but is best practice).
c) Customer traceability: tracking the food leaving a food business operator’s establishment to the immediate customers receiving it. Customer traceability is a legal requirement for all food businesses except when food is only sold directly to the final consumer.
Attention must be given to the interface between the three elements to ensure that the traceability system is seamless.
Process traceability is not a legal requirement for any food business but is best practice. It is recognised that if businesses are small with single product lines or simple processes, process traceability may not be needed. However, best practice includes process traceability where relevant in the scope of the traceability system, because in many circumstances, food business operators risk more extensive and damaging withdrawals or recalls if their traceability systems do not incorporate process traceability.
Haven’t done any detailed searching but in comparison to EC, the US situation / elsewhere seems more fragmented. I did not see any published generic traceability documents, eg ex FSIS, FDA ??. The current US scenario is maybe as per this 2012 file inspired apparently by FSMA’s coming requirements.
tr2 - IFT - FDA Report on Recall and Traceability, 2012.pdf 5.52MB
Rgds / Charles.C