New Traceability Requirements Issued by US FDA

Traceability throughout the food supply chain becomes a requirement. FDA confirmed that in its Traceability Rule. Read what is required.
Canned seafood
28 March, 2023
By Bert Popping

We previously reported about the need for traceability and food aquaculture practices. The United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) has in November released its new regulations on food traceability to improve food safety and recall efficiency. The Traceability Final Rule (TFR) regulations impose record-keeping requirements on foods that are at high risk for foodborne illness outbreaks, including leafy greens, fresh-cut produce, sprouts, soft cheeses, fish, shellfish, and deli salads. The regulations require data points to travel with foods from the farm to the retail level to enable the FDA to track food suspected of causing foodborne illness back through the supply chain and limit the scope of recalls. The regulation requires the maintenance of records for two years and the provision of sortable, electronic spreadsheets to the FDA within 24 hours in the event of an outbreak. The seafood products included in the FTL are also subject to other existing regulations, such as the Seafood Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point, the National Shellfish Sanitation Program, and the Seafood Import Monitoring Program. The regulations aim to align all these rules to ensure proper data management and traceability.

In Europe, Norway has become the gold standard for traceability record-keeping, and the country’s even stricter traceability requirements have been stress-tested by some of the largest and most complex seafood companies in the world, ensuring compliance.

Such traceability systems require employees in the aquaculture industry to be able to digitally record a catch, requiring different skill sets from the conventional task of the fishermen. And here, the EIT Food-funded AGAPE project aims to make a difference by providing AI-driven recommendations for upskilling and reskilling to adapt the workforce’s skills to the aquaculture industry’s changing needs.

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