The Importance of Traceability in Foodservice

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Where did the produce that you purchased come from? Who handled the produce? What safety measures were taken during the handling? What route did the produce travel to get to your operation? Knowing the answer to these questions is vital for the protection of both consumers and foodservice operators.

 

That’s where food traceability comes into play.

Protect Your Operation

According to the FDA, food traceability is the ability to follow the movement of a food product and its ingredients through all steps in the supply chain, both backward and forward. Whether a single unit or a batch, tracing history provides information about the product’s origin and its movements. The chronology of ownership throughout the supply chain is vital in the traceability process.

The importance of “traceability” and everything that would come along with such a term has always been important, especially in the Foodservice and Produce Industries.

From a consumer perspective, having visibility into the origin of their meal is a demand that continues to grow. Hot-Button words like “sustainable” and “responsibly sourced” are now standard terms in the industry, and many operators are making it a point to get on the front of this demand.

From a food safety perspective, traceability is at the core of protecting your brand and ensuring that everything you must serve to your consumers is as “safe” as possible. Operators need to have a Nationwide Recall or Outbreak system that communicates within 1-2 hours of being published. Any delay in knowledge or approach, and you’re at risk of serving dangerous product to your customers.

Things like foodborne illnesses, fines, having to throw entire inventory products away due to not knowing if yours were affected, can all occur from not having a traceability or food safety program.

A well-managed food safety program is something that any foodservice operator truly needs to protect themselves, their customers, their employees, and ultimately the well-being of their business.

Fresh Concepts Can Help

At Fresh Concepts, there’s no sleep to be lost in the event of a recall or outbreak. Our best-in-class proprietary Recall and Outbreak Program will be able to tell you within 2 hours if any of your Restaurants/Locations across the entire Nation (be it 5 Major Markets or 50!) have received any contaminated product – all led by our certified Food Scientist.

The team at Fresh Concepts is dedicated to staying at the forefront of food traceability technologies to ensure operations and customers alike stay protected. Technological advances in the near future, such as blockchain and sensor technology, will result in more opportunities to improve traceability systems as a whole. Blockchain technology creates a linear, open traceability on food products—one which cannot be altered.

End-to-end traceability across the food and beverage supply chain has many benefits. Having a traceability and food safety program can be a competitive advantage or differentiator between you and other foodservice operators. Think about the customers’ perception of your brand and the increase in traceability trends that have appeared in the last year. Consider how a traceability program may support your operations mission and promises.

By joining a managed produce program, like Fresh Concepts, you can follow products through the whole supply chain with a guarantee that it can be easily linked back to their sources. An expertly managed produce program can help your operation improve the quality, safety, and traceability of all the ingredients you use, while locking in prices and saving you money.

Partnered with our traceability and food safety experts, you can ensure risk management and safety remains a priority of every decision you make for your operation. Contact our experts today or schedule an online consultation by visiting FreshConceptsInc.com.