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Basic Product Traceability System

No food producer wants to think about being associated with a foodborne illness. Of course, your food safety and sanitation practices in your home kitchen are critical. It is advisable, but not required, to implement a very simple traceability system, in the event that you have to recall product that was contaminated.

There are three basic steps that you need to follow for a simple product traceability system:

  1. Record the source and date of every ingredient you purchase, and assign/label each product with a unique code any time you purchase it.
  2. When you make a product, assign each product batch a unique number. Record the code of each ingredient you use for each batch. Label each container of finished product with the batch code; for example, you can put a sticker with the code on the bottom of each jar of jam.
  3. When you sell product on a specific day, record the date, location, and the batch codes you sold. If the product has no container (such as for a cake), put the code on the customer’s receipt and keep a copy of the receipt for your records.

You can use this system for selling direct at farmers markets, farmstands, bazaars, and CSAs. If you are a Class B CFO and you sell to a retailer, you will need to pack your product into cases. You should record a box number for each case you pack; each case should include a record of the product batch codes. A sample product traceability system recording system is displayed in the following document.