FDA is proposing new record-keeping requirements for food traceability to speed up investigations during outbreaks of foodborne illnesses as well as routine inspections.
In a lengthy proposal to be published in Wednesday’s Federal Register, FDA said manufacturers, processors, packers and handlers of foods on the agency’s Food Traceability List (FTL) would be subject to the requirements.
Companies would have to describe “reference records” such as bills of lading and purchase orders, a list of foods they ship that are on FTL, a description of how they assign traceability lot codes, and other information needed to understand their traceability programs and records.
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The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) is already in compliance, according to spokesperson April Ward. LGMA has required its members have traceback systems since 2007. Survey results released last week show the producers can quickly track products involved in an outbreak.
“We can say with confidence that 100% of our members have a traceback system in place,” said LGMA CEO Scott Horsfall.