A top priority for many food producers is managing recalls with their suppliers and distributors. So why is it that many estimate that a recall would take days rather than hours? It is because they still use manual systems to trace products back to the source when a recall occurs. There are lots of reasons why food companies are having difficulty staying on track with a traceability program – changes in government regulations and shifting industry standards, as well as a lack of dedicated resources for implementing new processes to meet those requirements, are probably the main reasons. However, the risk of poor recall management can mean damage to a company’s brand and high financial loss.
By incorporating labeling standards and real-time data capture, companies can easily automate track and trace processes in their supply chain. The benefits of an automated system for product identification and traceability deliver real value to food producers:
- Better business systems for accurate data management of inventories and the supply chain that result in better purchasing efficiencies.
- Faster recalls because the records to trace a tainted product back to the source are readily accessible.
- Fresher products because electronic traceability helps manage shelf life and expiration dates to reduce waste.
Using industry standards and electronic record-keeping, the source of the tainted product, down to the specific lot, can be quickly identified and recalled.