FDA Proposes Traceability Rule

Sept. 23, 2020
Producers of certain foods would have to enhance and standardize their recordkeeping to improve traceability under a proposed FDA regulation.

Producers of certain foods, including leafy greens, fresh-cut produce and eggs, would have to enhance and standardize their recordkeeping to improve traceability under a proposed FDA regulation.

The Food Traceability Proposed Rule is based on the Food Safety Modernization Act, passed in 2011. It requires producers and processors of selected foods to standardize the data they maintain and send to the next step in the supply chain.

Handler of products on an FDA Food Traceability List would have to maintain records associated with what the FDA calls “critical tracking events,” which include growing, receiving, transforming, creating, and shipping. For each of these, a company would need to enter data that includes product descriptions, lot codes, and dates of receiving and shipping. Among other benefits, this would make it easier to trace contaminated products back to their source.

“While limited to only certain foods, this proposal lays the foundation for a standardized approach to traceability recordkeeping, paving the way for industry to adopt, harmonize, and leverage more digital traceability systems in the future,” the FDA said in a statement.

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