What records should you keep for food traceability?

The quality of your food traceability records can impact the ability of your food business to quickly and correctly recall product from the marketplace. During a recent audit I was required to complete a traceability activity. One of the questions I was asked by the food business was “what food traceability records should we be keeping?”  In this post find out my top suggestions on the records you should be keeping.

1. Receival records

This record should log everything that comes into your food business and include any applicable traceability information like batch codes and/or expiry dates.

2. Raw Materials Issue Record

This record aims to document who and where your raw materials go after they have been received. For example, 30kg of salt was released to the baking mixing area.

3. Product Formulation Record

When you are producing a product, you should always record what batch number and what quality went in to make that recipe / formulation.

4. In-process Record

If your product goes through multiple processes these need to be recorded. Again, record batch numbers and weights to assist with traceability and mass balance calculations. In-process steps could include things like mixing, cutting, decorating or blending.

5. Packing Report

What product was packed on what day and how is that tied back to the manufacturing process? These food traceability records are important as they link the finished product to in-process manufacturing.

6. Dispatch Record

As part of the trace forward process we need to know where the finished product has gone to. Dispatch records are a great way to document who purchased your product or where it was sent to after it left your food business. Don’t forget to record your traceability information eg. Use-by dates or product dates in addition to the product name and quantity.

7. Waste Records

Just about every business has waste of some sort. This may be items that have fallen on the floor, jammed in the packing process, used as part of the product assessment process or line clearance between products. You should be recording the batch and also the destination of all waste generated as part of the production process. This information really helps when you are trying to calculate your mass balance. Don’t forget to include any waste that goes to animal feed.

8. Returned finished products and raw materials

This one is fairly self-explanatory. If you accept returned finished product form the market place or you return raw materials to the supplier, record the name, batch codes and quantity.

Upgrade your Knowledge

If you would like learn more about food traceability and how you can effectively implement a traceability system in your business, check out my Food Traceability Principles and Implementation course.

Food Traceability Records

Can you add to this list? What food traceability records does your buisness keep? Share your experience with the HACCp Mentor community by leaving a comment below this post.


3 thoughts on “What records should you keep for food traceability?”

  1. Barbara Kleinbooi

    Please can you add me to your mailing list..have found you website really helpful

  2. Nomfundo Nonqndela

    Hi Amanda
    thanks for your traceability info, concerning product waste records will you kindly elaborate further please what records should we generate in my facility that will assist us to record and be able to trace the waste streams in our facility including packaging records.
    currently we got our intake records where record online reworks as well as recording reworks from customer returns. also in our production reports we have added sections where they can record packaging used during processing of our goods.
    i’m also thinking of creating a document that will be used by online QC to record packaging used in each line and also include batch numbers appearing on the packaging bags.
    kindly advise where I can add in my system to make a complete traceability study.

    Regards Nomfundo

    1. Amanda Evans-Lara

      It looks like you have it covered Nomfundo. You can add also have a record of how much waste is dumped each day eg. in weight and the type of waste that is not captured elsewhere.

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