Thursday, April 22, 2021

Function of food packaging: Traceability

According to the ISO (International Organization for Standardization), traceability is the “ability to trace the history, application, or location of that which is under consideration.”

A traceability system allows an organization to document and / or to locate a product through the stages and operations involved in the manufacture, processing, distribution and handling of feed and food, from primary production to consumption.

For some food manufacturers, the traceability systems are mere documents providing standard framework for ensuring correct traceability of raw materials, packing materials, semi-finished, rework and finished goods.

Internal traceability means processes must be maintained within an enterprise to link identities of raw materials to those of the finished goods.

Product labels are elements that physically identify traceable items, such as a tag, a sticker, or printing on product packaging that provides information about the product inside. Usually, they are attached to the packing of every packed product but also can be printed or affixed.

A label showing the Lot Number of the traceable input item should remain on the packaging until that entire traceable item is depleted. This principle applies even when the traceable item is part of a larger packaging hierarchy (such as cases, pallets, or shipment containers).

When the packaging is filled with food, its information overlaps the information required of the food itself, which is guaranteed through the following: “Best-before” date (mandatory for all foodstuffs); Date of packaging and/or lot number. It is required that fillers maintain records of specific information for the packaging material that has been used for each foodstuff, and that the link between the two information flows is not interrupted.

Barcoding remains the most common industry best practice for packaging hierarchies for shipping logistical units (such as cases, pallets, shipment containers, consumer items, and others).

Labels showing the traceable item identification number must remain on the packaging until the traceable item is consumed or destroyed.
Function of food packaging: Traceability

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