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U.S. Needs A Comprehensive Food Traceability System To Prevent Illnesses

August 27, 2010: 01:16 PM EST
An effective product tracing system would make it easier to identify food-borne illnesses earlier and control problems such as the egg salmonella outbreak faster, according to the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). In a report submitted to the FDA, the organization suggests guidelines for creating a comprehensive product tracing system to track food products from farm to point of sale or service. The report recommends, for example, creating a standard list of key information to be collected; identifying points along the supply chain, internally and between partners, where information needs to be captured; keeping comprehensive records; using electronic systems for data transfer; and including traceability as a requirement within audits. The report says the system should be simple, user friendly, globally accepted and compatible with existing industry systems.
Jennifer C. McEntire, et al., "Traceability (Product Tracing) in Food Systems: An IFT Report Submitted to the FDA", Report by the Institute of Food Technologists to the FDA, August 27, 2010, © Institute of Food Technologists
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