All food producers, processors, distributors and retailers are required to comply with the new FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This requires that everyone in the food chain be able to:
Identify the source of food and packaging materials as well as additives they introduce into the food chain.
Identify which materials from which source went into which products.
Ensure that the products are correctly labeled
Verify that all necessary quality control steps have been taken.
Identify to which customers or distributors the products were shipped.
In addition, all food processors as well as the large retail chains will be required to verify that their suppliers follow FSMA procedures. Most of the major retail chains are doing this by insisting that their suppliers obtain Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) certification, which demonstrates that they meet FMSA requirements as well as State and product specific requirements.
Both the FSMA and SQFI require the maintenance of detailed tracking and traceability records for at least 2 years. This can be done using paper forms followed by manual keyboard data entry into a computer to ensure that records are rapidly accessible (as required by FSMA). This is, however, a mistake prone and labor intensive process.
The BellHawk materials tracking and traceability software enables the use of technologies such as barcode label printing, barcode scanning, RFID, mobile computing and the Internet to enable the required records to be accurately captured in an electronic database without mistakes and with minimal labor required.
The resultant materials traceability database can then be used to rapidly determine the source of contamination or defects by tracking back from materials shipped to distributors or consumers, through the materials that went into each batch of product, to the suppliers of those specific materials. It can also be used to trace forward from the source of contamination or defects to all the distributors and consumers to whom the products were shipped, thus minimizing the scope and cost of the resultant recall.
BellHawk can also be used to automatically generate container labels with GS1 SSCC tracking barcodes and/or embedded RFID tags that can uniquely identify each case, pallet or other container of produce as it travels through the supply chain so as to facilitate rapid recalls.
BellHawk can also track and verify that all necessary quality control steps were taken and can capture test and process control data for subsequent analysis when needed.
Please click on the following link for more information about the Application of the BellHawk software to Food Processing.