How Traceability Legislation May Impact the Food Supply Chain

Extracted 26JUL2011 from

“The Secretary [is required] to establish a product tracing system to track and trace food that is in the United States or offered for import into the United States.” (FSMA d 204)

Although the FSMA focuses on products under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), its provisions reflect a larger push for traceability across the entire food supply chain.

According to Don Ratliff, Regents and UPS Professor and research director at Georgia Tech’s Integrated Food Chain Center, any organization involved in the importation, manufacturing, production, storage, transportation and sale of food needs to understand the consequences, requirements and cost of compliance associated with the FSMA....

While many procedures are yet to be specified, the FSMA provides for pilot studies to be undertaken by industry groups and organizations, like Georgia Tech’s Integrated Food Chain Center, to evaluate potential tracking systems and make recommendations. Ratliff advises that food suppliers around the world should become proactive in determining how to get in front of the regulations by meeting best practices rather than waiting for mandates.