Traceability & recalls for fresh produce. easy fresh produce recalls audits with farmsoft traceability
Food traceability & recalls. Instant recalls and audits with state of the art traceability with the Producepak food traceability app.

Food traceability and recall


Recall instantly using any recall key

such as: inventory #, order #, pallet #, invoice #, supplier name, Crop / Crop Batch name, supplier traceability data, delivery date and more…

Best practice standards for packing

and processing fresh produce such as BRC, GlobalGAP, ISO, HACCP (and many more) are supported by the system, making audits less expensive, and compliance easier and less expensive

Recall both up and down the supply chain

for as many steps as recorded data allows. FarmSoft allows multiple levels of traceability, not just one up one down

Traceability can start at the point of purchase order

creation for inventory, or can start at the point delivery of produce from a supplier (if there is no PO), or all the way back on the farm – before planting has taken place (if you are using FarmSoft Farm Management), providing the packhouse with a choice of which traceability model to implement, and greatly reducing paperwork and data entry. Food Business Operators (FBOs) have a legal duty to ensure that the food they provide is safe for consumers. An effective food traceability process is necessary for all FBOs. This is so that they have the ability to implement product withdrawal/recall whenever there may be a risk to consumers.

Similarly, the ability to trace food products throughout the supply chain highlights any potential vulnerabilities and reduces the risk of food fraud. Our guide outlines what is meant by food traceability and includes a free food traceability template for you to download and use in your business.

Food Business Operators (FBOs) have a legal duty to ensure that the food they provide is safe for consumers. An effective food traceability process is necessary for all FBOs. This is so that they have the ability to implement product withdrawal/recall whenever there may be a risk to consumers.

Similarly, the ability to trace food products throughout the supply chain highlights any potential vulnerabilities and reduces the risk of food fraud. Our guide outlines what is meant by food traceability and includes a free food traceability template for you to download and use in your business.

Food Business Operators (FBOs) have a legal duty to en

The Importance of Food Traceability


March 17, 2015

Order Reprints

So what is driving all the discussion about food traceability? And why is traceability suddenly so important?

Traceability is most relevant when it comes to public health . Whether we are talking about food safety or food defense, emergency planning can be broken into four phases:

1. Preparedness: When planning for an emergency situation, traceability provides greater visibility into a supply chain, thereby helping be better prepared if something goes wrong.

2. Response: In case something goes wrong, traceability improves the agility of the response by all stakeholders.

3. Recovery: During the recovery phase, traceability allows the industry and regulators to maintain or rebuild trust with consumers into the safety and resiliency of the food system.

4. Prevention: Traceability allows for the determination of causality of the problem through root cause analysis, thereby preventing future issues.

Let’s first take a look at who the key stakeholders are. They can be divided into government (such as U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, not to forget state and local regulators); the food industry (including farmers, ingredient suppliers, processors, distributors, wholesalers, foodservice, retailers); academia (education, research, extension, Centers of Excellence); and consumers.

Traceability has become increasingly important. The global food supply chain today has evolved into a tangled web as companies seek to enhance their capabilities to feed the world’s growing population. While food safety problems remain rare, when they do occur, time is the enemy as public health and lives are at stake, as well as the livelihoods of industries, companies and employees. The Global Food Traceability Center is intended to assist companies to better understand and implement ways to track and trace the paths of products through the food chain, to improve food safety and security and to avoid or mitigate devastating public health and economic impacts. However, we want to emphasize that food traceability is about more than recalls. Being able to ascertain the origin of products, ingredients and their attributes, from the farm through food processing to retail, foodservice and the consumer, is growing in importance. Increasingly, public health concerns are demanding traceability, but it will be the business economic drivers that will sustain it. For example, according the Grocery Manufacturers Association in the U.S., the financial impact of a recall is quite significant: 52% of all recalls cost over $10M and 23% cost over $30M.

The food supply chain today is truly a maze that is global, dynamic and complex in nature. Key challenging issues include globalization of the food supply chain, changing industry processes and consumer preferences for fresh and minimally processed foods. The maze begins at agriculture followed by food processing, storage and distribution. During the transportation of food products, varied domestic and international regulations and standards are applied, not to mention variable enforcement and inconsistent and sometimes contradictory scientific rationales for such regulations are encountered. Exiting the maze, one finds a cacophony of consumer trends and changing habits, health drivers and new threats, which includes misinformation spread in the mass media. Thus, concerns about both the safety and quality of food continue to escalate.

Such concerns include the following:

• More foodborne illness: high visibility cases of Escherichia coli, Listeria, Salmonella, etc.

• Higher number and visibility of recalls

• Rise in fraudulent activities in the food chain and counterfeit products

• More products coming from countries with lower health and safety standards

• Higher risk of contamination or spoilage due to long, complex supply chains

• Increased threat of terrorism

The impact of all this is considerable and significant, including:

• Economic loss from negative impact of recalls

• Rising distrust of the food supply and fragile consumer confidence

• Greater demands for proof of food product claims

• Increased demands for regulation and guidelines

• Increased business costs to comply with regulations

Why is traceability so important? The reason really depends on who you talk to.

For public safety, it’s about reducing incidences of food fraud as well as unintentional or intentional adulteration; disease management; and environmental emergencies

For businesses, it’s all about risk management and mitigation—lowering the impact of recalls and lowering liability costs

For the supply chain, efficiencies relate to productivity; cash flow improvements; innovation; and reducing waste

And for consumers, it’s about access to markets and specialty foods ; and enhancing or strengthening brand confidence

But regardless of the specific reason, traceability is critical to all stakeholders.  

William Fisher is vice president of the Institute of Food Technologists and the executive director of the Global Food Traceability Center.

Capture and archive

(for rapid recall) all traceability records related to use of materials, employees, equipment – suitable for use with multiple standards.  

You can perform a recall or mock recall using traceability data that is of unlimited age.  The speed, accuracy, and detail of farmsoft recalls always impress auditors.

Materials and inventory

are issued with system generated Inventory ID labels which contain a unique Inventory Number that relates to the traceability details. The Inventory Number can be recorded via a mobile device when used, or entered onto a task sheet for later entry; this method makes recording of inventory very rapid and accurate.

Individual task Quality Check

by QC officer, including time, officer, date, and notes and photos and documents as attachments

The farmsoft system will reject delivery

of produce that is still within a PHI/Pre Harvest Interval or withholding period (if you are using farmsoft Farm Management)

Generate QR code labels

EAN 128 , GS1, PTI, Tesco, Walmart, Woolworths, Coles, Aldi, Pick N Save, Loblaw, La Martina compliant labels

Instant fresh produce recall

Traceability maintained for future audits and mock recall

Recall up and down the fresh produce supply chain

Recall always immediately identifies the customers and suppliers involved

Food traceability and recall
Food traceability and recall

Mock audit / recall / auditing

Make fresh produce recalls using a wide range of optional recall keys such as: Batch number, inventory number, batch serial, pallet number, invoice number, customer order reference, order number inventory supplier batch details (supplier lot or batch number), dispatch date, and more...  Perform a recall to instantly determine which customers were sent fresh produce from a selected batch .  Perform a batch recall to instantly determine the origin of fresh produce in a batch; including fresh produce supplier name, harvest date, delivery date, pack date, crop name, block/field/crop traceability code and more...

Food traceability and recall
Food traceability and recall

Instant recall

Perform an instant recall based on very little information such as only one of the following:  delivery date, batch number, invoice number, BOL number, pallet number, inventory number, customer name, fresh produce supplier name, processing date, storage location, suppliers traceability date, field/patch or crop code

Produce traceability on patented labeling system

Food recalls have been an issue over the past few years, affecting a number of different produce items. Media coverage on contaminated foods causing illness has diminished consumer confidence in food and the retailers where they purchased the recalled products. To increase consumer confidence and public safety, a labeling company says it’s necessary to have an effective traceability system in place. Hurst International said it has made item-level traceability available through its patented Print on Demand (POD) Versaprint labeling system.

Full traceability is only a requirement on the outside of a case of produce. But consumers don’t buy an entire case of produce; they purchase it individually as a bulk item. Once the case is emptied at the retailer’s shelves and bins, all further traceability is lost, according to Hurst. The company says its POD Versaprint labeling system can add an additional traceability code on each price look up (PLU) label. The PLU label is added to all bulk produce items. By adding this additional traceability code, each produce item can be traced back to its origin. The labeling system can also be used to announce sales events or promotions reaching the consumers when they purchase a produce item at the store level.

Food traceability and recall
Food traceability and recall

The item-level traceability code tracks the individual piece of fruit or vegetable throughout the entire supply chain. The traceability codes include: lot numbers; grower codes; dates; julian dates; time stamps; packing house locations, packing lines and production. By identifying the origin of each produce item, the grower/shipper/packer can determine where the fruit or vegetable was at any given date and track the process to see who came into contact with it. This allows the ability to trace the product quickly, helping to eliminate additional foodborne illnesses. Moreover, beyond the financial implications of recalls, unaffected produce would not need to be destroyed, which further diminishes retailer profits. Information included in the PLU label can also be added to a blockchain distributed ledger to be effectively traced back throughout the supply chain.

Hurst says the POD system is efficient and easy to use. The company cites several companies in the citrus, apple, pear, stone fruit, avocado, pomegranate, and kiwi industries use it. The Direct Thermal Printing technology allows packers to label up to 63 different graphics at speeds up to 15 fruits per second. The company added that the application rates of over 95 percent reduces production costs, in turn saving money on labeling. Because the flexible system can print a variation of changing numbers and grow codes on the label, some Hurst customers use this feature for internal control and management. It can be used not only to identify an event that occurred in the field when farming, but also helps identify any mechanical issues or inconsistencies in the packing house or supply chain, the company concluded.

For more information:
Alex Lichtenberg
Hurst International
Ph: +1 (310) 383-8548

Intelleflex asks industry experts their point-of-view on cold chain issues

What is the first step the industry should take to improve food safety and traceability?

Dr. Jean-Pierre Emond, Director of Cold Chain Research, Georgia Tech
Most people take food safety for granted. But, with the trend of buying ready-to-eat foods at a wide variety of sale points, extra precaution should be made as temperature maintenance plays a critical role in the safety of food. Utilizing temperature monitoring during the entire distribution process can provide crucial temperature data during storage, transportation and while on display. Reliable temperature monitoring allows for proactive approaches rather than reacting to problems that previously occurred. By resolving issues before they become a serious problem, you can avoid loss of product as well as the loss of customer loyalty and safety.

Dr. John Ryan, President, Ryan Systems
An integrated food safety system combining traceability and food safety data would reduce risks, shorten recall times and provide inter-operation communications along the supply chain. Food safety data can be used to rank suppliers and handling operations. Low scoring operations would equate to high risk. During a recall, high risk operations would be the first required to provide traceability information thus allowing recall specialists the opportunity to quickly locate, test and dispose of adulterated food.

Jack Sparn, Chief Innovation Officer, iGPS
Prevention and traceability are the two cornerstones that must be implemented and practiced by all players from field to fork. End-to-end food handling, storage and preparation practices that emphasize best practices for food safety are the best way to insure that a cold chain product is clean, fresh and safely consumable. Tracking and tracing of food products and related supply chain components is necessary if a food safety situation occurs that requires audit or trace-back.

Food traceability and recall
Food traceability and recall

Mike Nicometo, Founder, FreshXperts
The cold chain role with food safety is primarily ensuring that perishable food items are stored within established temperature ranges. Technology helps by monitoring temperatures throughout the cold chain and providing alerts for any excursions. New technology allows us to implement monitoring at the pallet level affordablywithout disrupting work flow.Automated data capture of product moving in the supply chain provides a single data store enablingan instant recall in the event of a problem, versus getting all supply chain stakeholders to report where the product came from, what they hadand where they shipped it.

Peter Mehring, Presidentand CEO, Intelleflex
Traceability is a good starting point for food safety, but it needs to be implemented across a product's full supply chain to be effective. Simply reporting "one up" and "one down" relationships makes recalls difficult and time consuming, as multiple hops need to be traversed to collect complete data. Manual collection of product data at each site, either by invoice or bar code, has a high enough data entry error rate that it is not suitable for food safety and traceability. The industry needs a solution that captures the full supply chain history automatically and at every touch point –that would deliver actionable traceability data.

For more information:
Tel: 1-877-694-3539

Understanding Food Traceability

Many industries have been using product traceability since the early 2000s to increase total quality. Today, legislators make traceability of products such as food mandatory, which has the potential to affect public health devastatingly. Recently, The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initiated a study on food traceability under FSMA. Likewise, Russia, addressing food traceability in the CRPT project, has implemented it for dairy products. Also, Australia has implemented an innovative traceability implementation (beef blockchain) covering all meat products with blockchain technology. Furthermore, food authorities of other countries define traceability as a necessity for products considered to be at-risk groups.

Soon, food production companies will need to adapt and operate their supply chains following the regulations prepared by legislators on food traceability. You can access the list of products that the FDA offers to comply with FSMA by clicking here. It is a large-scale digital transformation project for an enterprise to redesign and implement its supply chain according to food traceability requirements. In this article, we will try to explain how you can redesign an existing supply chain to meet traceability requirements.

Food Traceability for Aseptic Cartons

Why Do We Need a Food Traceability System?

In recent years, there has been a large increase in product and raw material counterfeiting in the food industry. However, it doesn’t surprise us to hear news every day about food counterfeiting from all over the world. The threat posed by this increase seriously harms public health and the reliability of brands. Unfortunately, existing laws and preventive mechanisms are not enough to stop counterfeiting activities. Therefore, legislators have started drafting laws and regulations for the food industry, whose primary goal is to protect public health. Authorities are trying to prevent the following illegal activities by making traceability mandatory in the supply chain with these laws.

  • Product counterfeiting
  • Illegal labeling and manipulation
  • Black-marketeering
  • Unfair competition
  • Grey market activities
Food Fraud

What are the Basic Concepts of Traceability?

We use traceability to track status information within the supply chain throughout the life cycle of a product. Status information consists of data such as where the product is located, under which environmental conditions it is stored and when it is transferred. However, GS1 organization, which prepares global standards on traceability, has based on “what, where, when, and why” information for status information by analyzing the common requirements of all markets. As a result, if a manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, or seller can answer “what, where, when, and why” questions for each saleable food product, it means that the traceability process has been completed.

Authorities can build country-level traceability systems on distributed or central information systems. While making this distinction, they take into consideration the commercial dynamics, security conditions, and market habits of the country. Whatever system they prefer, food traceability is the only tool to guarantee product and brand safety.

Serialization of Food Products

You need to identify the products to ensure food traceability. Although the identification of each product seems like a difficult operation at first glance, the existence of the pharmaceutical industry which can serialize all the products it produces is a good example.

The most practical method that can be used for serialization in the packaging processes of food products is the GS1 compliant Data Matrix code. This 2D barcode technology, which has high data storage capacity in a small area, has already proven its maturity in the pharmaceutical industry. You can apply a 2D barcode with many printing methods. This 2D barcode can identify each level of product packaging in an area of ​​10 x 10 mm. Please follow the link to examine the methods used to serialize food products.

How Can We Ensure Food Traceability in the Supply Chain?

Serialization is the first step in ensuring traceability. However, serializing foods does not mean they are also traceable. An accurate food traceability system should answer “what, where, when, and why” questions when the stakeholder or end-consumer questions the serialized product.

It is necessary to consider the processes under the headings of the internal and external supply chain to create a traceable supply chain.

Internal Traceability

A significant part of supply chain operations takes place within the company. It should be ensured that independent business units such as production, warehouse, and shipment can easily and reliably exchange data for traceable products. Existing ERP and MES software should be redesigned following traceability processes, and the mentioned systems should be integrated with serialization equipment.

External Traceability

To ensure traceability in this process, the dynamics of the target market must be carefully analyzed. Because the requirements of target market authorities will be different from each other. We have already mentioned that the implementations of traceability systems of countries can be central and distributed.

Below you can find brief descriptions of these systems.

Central Traceability System

In country-level practices, where the authority centrally manages traceability, stakeholders have specific roles. When stakeholders share traceability data of their roles with the central system, their responsibilities are terminated. Turkey, Brazil, Russia, and European Union countries have started to implement this type of traceability system for the pharmaceutical industry.

Food Safety Information System

Distributed Traceability System

The authority sets the rule for traceability and motivates the market. In these systems, each stakeholder is responsible for traceability in their area of responsibility. From time to time, the authority may also set rules for establishing verification services for manufacturers for product verification. Traceability in the U.S. pharmaceutical market is this type of implementation. Blockchain implementations are gaining popularity day by day in distributed systems.

Food Safety Blockchain


Producepak food manufacturing app

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Producepak provides a simple solution for food manufacturers, processors, food packers, fresh produce packers, pack-houses, fruit & vegetable packers, and food packers. Producepak concentrates on food safety, food inventory control, food expiry management, first in first out stock rotation, food order management, food production management in batches, food shipping & sales, food export / import. Use the Producepak Quality Control module to improve food safety, or turn on a simple food safety checklist to ensure consistent quality food packing and production.

Producepak food manufacturing app is a simple to use solution for buying, and selling food inventory, fresh produce, seafood, meats, and flowers. The traceability built into Producepak provides instant recalls, accurate food traceability, and easy to produce audits, and mock audits. Producepak provides tools to pack food, fresh produce, flowers, and hops. You can use Producepak for food manufacturing, configure the bill of materials for each food product line you manufacture, and manage the food manufacturing process by projecting required raw ingredients requirements and scheduling batches and purchase orders for raw food manufacturing processes. Accurate fresh produce inventory management reduces waste through better FIFO stock rotation, stock-takes, and inventory alerts.

Increase the efficiency of food inventory using options like scanning incoming bar-codes to reduce data entry & errors. Guarantee food quality with quality control testing systems. Customer feedback management, supplier quality, customer qulity standards.

Producepak food manufacturing app can project required inventory (and shortages), schedule orders to be packed in batches , automatic alerts to production line managers, inventory teams telling them which inventory needs to be moved to which production line; guarantees the correct product and quantity is packed on time. Shipping teams are guided through the dispatch process from picking using a phone or tablet (optional bar-code scanning), automatic picking, thru bill of lading, invoice, and automatic shipping notifications for customers, transport, and sales teams. Automatic generation of food labels, bill of lading, invoice, picking documents and more; reduces administrative burden. Easy audit & recall systems reduces compliance costs.