Effective traceability helps improve the efficiency, reliability and response time following a food safety related event, and thereby strengthens the protection of the public health and maintains consumer confidence. Traceability is continuing to become a requirement for product brand equity and international trade access and has demonstrated commercial benefits in other business sectors.
IFT has released a number of documents, presentations, and other resources relating to food traceability. The following are highlights of those available resources.
Peer-reviewed Journal Articles & Reports
- Executive Summary: Project to Develop an Interoperable Seafood Traceability Technology Architecture (PDF), 2017
- Specifications to Implement a Technology Architecture for Enabling Interoperable Food Traceability (PDF), 2017
The “Specifications to Implement a Technology Architecture for Enabling Interoperable Food Traceability” document describes characteristics that information systems must possess to enable the implementation of effective and efficient interoperable traceability. That the described characteristics apply to the effective and efficient exchange of information per se increases the report’s importance to guiding the development of interoperable communication solutions in all food sectors and for purposes other than traceability. Benefits that can be achieved from possessing the ability to report then act upon key information regarding physical goods as they move along the supply chain include the ability to proactively manage risks, reduce costs, and increase revenue. Critical to enabling full chain interoperable traceability is the ability to connect internal and external computerized traceability systems. The technical specifications document will assist the food industry achieve otherwise unattainable benefits by transforming a common technology architecture designed to enable interoperable traceability into flexible, robust and resilient traceability systems that evolve with users’ needs. Examples of technologies that could enable the architecture to function, along with further considerations and next steps, are also described.
- Executive Summary: Assessing the Value and Role of Seafood Traceability from an Entire Value-Chain Perspective (PDF), 2015
- Full Report: Assessing the Value and Role of Seafood Traceability from an Entire Value-Chain Perspective (PDF), 2015
GFTC conducted an extensive research and technology development project into the use and value of seafood traceability. The project team investigated the utility of traceability to reduce waste, enhance consumer trust, and increase business efficiencies along the entire value chain, from catch to the consumer.
- Comparison of Global Food Traceability
Regulations and Requirements
The food traceability regulations of 21 Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)
countries were examined with attention to whether these regulations are comprehensive for all food commodities and
- Making Traceability Work Across the Entire Food Supply Chain (PDF)
Journal of Food Science Supplement: Presesnts information on the feasibility and adaptability of a multi-disciplinary and cross-functional approach to food traceability that generates both commercial value and a safeguard to public health.
- IFT: Pilot Projects for Improving Product Tracing along the Food Supply System Final Report (PDF), 2012
Final report to the FDA focusing on the outcomes of two pilot projects designed to test and study various product tracing practices for fresh produce and processed foods. This report on the pilots, which were required by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), offers recommendations to the FDA on how to improve traceability in a way that benefits all stakeholders.
- Traceability (Product Tracing) in Food Systems: An IFT Report Submitted to the FDA, Volume 1: Technical Aspects and Recommendations (PDF), 2010
- Traceability (Product Tracing) in Food Systems: An IFT Report Submitted to the FDA, Volume 2: Cost Considerations and Implications (PDF), 2010
Issues Briefs & Articles
GFTC Comments to Regulatory Agencies
Commodity Specific Traceability
Importance of Traceability
Food Traceability Challenges
GFTC Informational / Project Updates
Traceability and Food Safety
Traceability Guidance Documents
PDF unless otherwise noted.
In March 2013, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) announced the public release of their report for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) focused on the outcomes of two pilot projects designed to test and study various product tracing practices for fresh produce and processed foods.