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Recall and Traceability, Creating Lot's

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 08:23 PM


I work for a small bakery that only buys frozen bread and then bakes it, however we are required to have lot numbers. How would I go about creating one?

Are batch #s and Lot #s the same thing? 


Thanks in advance!





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Posted 30 May 2017 - 08:46 PM

You can make your Lot Number whatever you want it to be.  The meat plant that I did work at use the date as our Lot Number because If we need to recall a product back most likely it would be the whole day production that would be recalled.  

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 12:29 PM

Lot numbers will depend on how specific you want to be. It can be per loaf, per shift, per day, or per week. It all depends on how you want to be able to track your products. We use a lot number based on week and product(s) used. And another based on Julian date. Make it easy enough that if there is ever a problem you will be able to track it back to when it occurred and be able to take the necessary actions after that

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Alex V.

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 01:50 PM

I've worked at places that encode lots of information in their Lot codes and places that don't encode any information almost at all.  You can get really creative with the information that you include in your code. 


For you, going off what you've told us, I would suggest using the Julian date and year for the backbone of the code.  In addition to the type of bread you're talking about you should be able to narrow the scope of any identification far enough to be useful. ie: a lot of sourdough made on 5/26/17 could have the code "17-146".


You could also include an additional code that tells you which line, shift, or operator that bread went through or the supplier you bought that loaf from(if you have multiple). ie: if you bought that sourdough from "killer bread" it could have the code "17-146KB". Or if the bread was cooked on line 2 it could be "17-14602".


Another thing to think about is how do your suppliers code their product?  Does each loaf have a number? Does each box? Each shipment?  I've found that it helps to have similar granularity in your lot numbers as the supplier if at all possible.  You wouldn't want to code each loaf if your supplier only codes each shipment.


Basically the purpose of lot coding your product is so that you can quickly and easily be able to talk to both your supplier and customer about the product.  You want to be able to know what ingredients went into it and where that product got shipped to.  In your case it seems pretty simplistic.  Frozen bread becomes cooked bread.  In fact, you could, and I stress COULD, simply use your supplier's lot number as your own. But beware of this because it is a system that does not allow for much flexibility and it is fairly broad when it comes to identification.  You wouldn't be able to distinguish between production days and various packaging differences.


In response to lots and batches, yes and no.  Each company will use their own language and sometimes they mean the same thing and sometimes they don't.  When they don't, usually lots will be made up of batches.  In your case I don't think it matters to divide your work, unless you're not actually a "small bakery".  ;)

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