How to Keep Up with FDA Lot Traceability Regulations

In March of this past year, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) released a report that stated the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had recently launched 2 test pilots to improve product tracing. These pilots were aimed to help better regulate foodborne illness and quarantine outbreaks faster.

FDA testing has shown that improved product tracing has the potential to reduce up to 55 percent of total foodborne illnesses, as well as the reduction of economic impact of outbreaks by as much as $14 million dollars per incident. As a result, new food regulation programs for distributors are expected to be more stringent in coming years. Additional recordkeeping for “high-risk foods,” for example, is a likely possibility.

As it stands, the FDA mandates that almost every food product – especially meat, seafood, dairy, and eggs –has to have a marked lot number and GS1 label on the item before shipping. This number details where the item has been. It also gives the FDA batch information and a means to trace the product back to the warehouse it was distributed from. The FDA is looking for better methods, and is encouraging companies to turn to technology to implement more efficient tracking solutions.

Food distributors are struggling to keep pace with ever-changing regulations, but what many don’t realize is that recall issues stem from the use of multiple systems and software, as well as manual management processes prior to the product ever entering the distribution channel. Too many systems and procedures that lack interoperability is a recipe for disaster, especially when valuable time is wasted tracking a potentially contaminated shipment.

With recent food recalls, the FDA is getting ready to crack down on product traceability. Many food distributors are pushing to upgrade their lot traceability software to prepare for the rise in regulations and government monitoring, though the strain may be felt most by SMBs who do not share the robust budgets of enterprise-grade competitors.

There is an answer for SMBs, however. SR²Software specializes in providing affordable solutions for SMB food distributors that rival competing software that is almost 10 times the price. Discover how to keep up with government lot traceability regulations in a relatively affordable way and talk to one of our SR²Software experts today at 866.245.6216!