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Diane Publishing Books
Traceability in the Food Supply Chain
Daniel R. Levinson (ed)
Beginning in 2005, the Food and Drug Admin. (FDA) required certain food facilities to maintain records identifying the sources, recipients, and transporters of food products. The purpose of these records is to allow FDA to trace an article of food through each stage of the food supply chain — from a retail shelf back to a farm — if FDA has a reasonable belief that a food product is adulterated and presents a serious health threat. Traceability, the ability to follow the movement of a food product through the stages of production, processing, and distribution, includes both traceback and trace forward. Traceback is the ability to trace a food product from the retail shelf back to the farm.Conversely, trace forward is the ability to trace a food product from thefarm forward to the retail shelf. Traceability is often needed to identifythe sources of food contamination and the recipients of contaminatedfood in product recalls and seizures. This study refers to such asituation as a “food emergency.” This study is based on two primary data sources: (1) a traceability exercise of 40 selected food products and (2) structured interviews with the managers at the food facilities that handled the selected food products. For the traceability exercise, the researchers purchased 40 food products from different retail stores and attempted to trace them through each stage of the food supply chain back to the farm(s) or the border. They asked the facilities that handled the food product for information about their sources, recipients, and transporters, which they used in an effort to trace the product. Figures.
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