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Traceability for ready meals?

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Posted 08 November 2023 - 10:53 PM

Hello everyone,

We're looking to achieve BRC in (hopefully) 2 years. We have started the process of building traceability for ready to heat meals. Goods in is relatively straightforward, it's when it gets to production that's the issue. We're making a lot of different SKUs, but we use so many raw materials I'm finding it difficult to maintain traceability. Does anyone have generic examples that I could have a look at, or suggest best practice?

Thanks in advance!


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Posted 09 November 2023 - 01:49 AM

Best way is if the company is invested in software that effectively tracks.  I've worked with things traced from just an excel sheet, to a basic accounting program, to a full on inventory management system.  That will be the core of traceability. From there we used our standard production batch record to capture each lot going into the product.  This would often include other lots from other production batch records (parent/child tracking) as well as single ingredient items and packaging lots. 


I'm curious how thing are currently tracked from incoming goods to to batch records.


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Posted 09 November 2023 - 05:33 AM

You can follow the following procedure:

  1. Incoming materials are identified at the time of receipt. At the time of receipt, the store in-charge shall inform the QC Department for QC Check.
  2. QC Executive will perform QC Check & stick QC approval tag mentioning Goods Receipt No. on the approved lot.
  3. The store incharge shall keep the record of Goods Receipt. The receipt shall contain the name of the supplier & batch no. of the incoming material.
  4. Production executive will enter the Goods Receipt No. in the batch sheet at the time of production.



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Posted 09 November 2023 - 11:32 AM



I would suggest to follow your HACCP process flow and then build a traceability checklist or a traceability process flow. 


Things gets messy when the raw material is transported to the production lines/ cookers directly. Currently on the market you can see a great software systems, however the raw materials must be somehow labelled to keep tracking system of batch codes.


Is a massive difference when your raw material going directly from the warehouse to mixers, cookers or to the prep rooms. In case of high number of ingredients, is great to have a prep room, then all batches, mixers, recipes etc  could be prepared in advance. 




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Posted 09 November 2023 - 01:14 PM

Am I missing something?   Traceability isn't just for NSF schemes, it's a requirement for FSMA, etc, no?   How can you be 'building towards' it?  If you had a recall tomorrow, could you account for 100% of your production?   How quickly?


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Posted 17 November 2023 - 10:18 AM

Goods in is relatively straightforward, it's when it gets to production that's the issue. We're making a lot of different SKUs, but we use so many raw materials I'm finding it difficult to maintain traceability

You need to properly identify all incoming goods with both a unique article code and batch code. Then when you go to production, no matter which SKU it is, you assign ingredients and packaging from a specific batch to that production run. Technically, you could do all that on paper, but investing in proper software to keep straight which production used which ingredients (and packaging) is the best practice.

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