Traceability systems

Traceability systems

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Guidance on traceability from international, non-governmental organisations make recommendations on the design, establishment and implementation of traceability, and basic system requirements from a business management system perspective. This is exemplified by the ISO 22005 traceability standard.

International Standard ISO 22005

This International Standard on traceability in the food and feed chain gives the principles and specifies basic requirements for the design and implementation of a food and feed traceability system. It is applicable to any organisation operating at any step in the food and feed chain.

The standard recognises that a traceability system is a useful tool to assist an organisation, the choice of system is influenced by regulations, product characteristics and customer expectations, and that the complexity can vary depending on the features of product, technical limits inherent in the organisation, and cost benefits of applying a system.

A traceability system is defined as the totality of data and operations that is capable of maintaining desired information about a product and its components through all or part of its production and utilisation chain.

The Standard covers the following system elements:

  • Principles and objectives of traceability.
  • Design including general design considerations, regulatory and policy requirements, products and/or ingredients, steps for the design, establishment of procedures, and documentation requirements.
  • Implementation, including responsibilities, training, monitoring, and review. or

Codex Alimentarius Commission

Codex Alimentarius is a series of international standards for food and agricultural products. They help ensure fair trade and consumer protection internationally.

The Codex guidance (CAC/GL 60-2006) on traceability elaborates a set of principles to assist competent authorities in utilising traceability/product tracing as a tool within their food inspection and certification system.

These principles cover the context, rationale, design and application of traceability/product tracing as a tool for use by a competent authority within a food inspection and certification system.