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.
This record should log everything that comes into your food business and include any applicable traceability information like batch codes and/or expiry dates.
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.
When you are producing a product, you should always record what batch number and what quality went in to make that recipe / formulation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.