Official Guidance

Official Guidance

Title page of FSA guidance

The FSA and EU have issued non statutory guidance on the requirements for traceability in Article 18 of Regulation (EC) 178/2004 on general food law. The guidance includes the scope and the requirements for implementation of traceability by a business.

FSA Guidance

The FSA has issued guidance notes for Food Business Operators on Food Safety, Traceability, Product Withdrawal and Recall.

These notes provide informal, non-statutory advice on compliance with the requirements for food businesses of Articles 14, 16, 18 and 19 of Regulation (EC) 178/2002. Food businesses are required to comply with this legislation which relates to the safety of food, traceability, notification of food safety incidents and withdrawal and recall of unsafe food.

For Article 18 on traceability the guidance outlines what the Article says and how the FSA believes businesses can comply.

In terms of what the Article says this covers a) what businesses are required to do, b) the purpose of the traceability provisions, and c) provisions in respect of live animals, seeds, and non food agricultural inputs.

The guidance on how businesses can comply covers aspects such as the one step back and forward approach, record keeping, specific food products, and internal traceability.

The full guidance is available at

EU Guidance

The EU has also issued guidance on the implementation of articles 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 on general food law (

For Article 18 on traceability this covers the rational, implications, scope of the traceability requirement, and implementation of the traceability requirement.

The scope of the traceability requirements gives details of the i) covered products, ii) covered operators and iii) applicability to third country exporters.

The implementation of the traceability requirement gives details of i) Identification of suppliers and customers by food business operators, ii) Internal traceability, iii) Traceability systems laid down by specific legislations, iv) Types of information to be kept, v) Time of reaction for traceability data availability, and vi) Time of records keeping.