Hotel Kitchens and Ready Meal Traceability System

Gizem Kor

Traceability system is the creation of a system that ensures that all foods produced and offered for consumption by the enterprise are followed in the stages of raw material, supply, production and presentation/distribution. The traceability system is one of the most important issues for businesses, as it is a legal requirement and is of great importance in terms of food safety and operational efficiency.

Traceability system primarily; identification of all product and production inputs and semi-finished products, units or lots; It is a three-stage process that includes recording and keeping information about where, when and where they move, and the establishment of a system that will associate all data with each other. An effectively functioning traceability system is a very important food safety assurance that will ensure that products are withdrawn when a situation poses a risk to human health, and that the source of the problem will be determined as a result of retrospective monitoring and necessary measures will be taken in this regard. If businesses want the product they produce to be of the same standard and top quality, and at the same time to keep the margin of error to a minimum in terms of food safety, they need to establish an effective traceability system.

Hotel kitchens and businesses that produce ready meals have a different food production operation compared to factories that produce food, and the food produced in these sectors should be consumed in a short time. This brings different risks. In order to minimize these risks, it is essential to establish an effective traceability system in hotel businesses and catering businesses.

If you want to establish an effective traceability system in your business with the aim of fulfilling the legal requirements and producing at high quality standards, you can find the necessary steps for the establishment and execution of the traceability system in general terms;

Identifying the supplier and raw material,

Identifying Products and Recipes,

Defining production operations,

Opening a purchase order for raw materials,

Receiving the raw material,

Pulling the raw material from the main warehouse and keeping it in the underarm warehouse,

Preparation and cooking of products (production),

Presenting the Products to the Guest,

Ensuring the control of traceability at periodic intervals.

To explain these steps one by one; first of all, food suppliers should be determined according to the Supplier Management System (a system that covers the stages of selection, identification, evaluation and inspection of the suppliers from which raw materials will be supplied) and defined with the "Approved Supplier List". In addition, the food products to be supplied and their specifications should also be defined. Information about which product, which brand is purchased from which supplier and with which features constitutes the first step of the traceability system.

The menus offered to the guests in the hotel business; Banquet Menus, A'la Carte menus, breakfast menus, Room Service menus or other menus prepared according to the business should be defined one by one. After the menus are created, product recipes should be prepared for each defined product, and the information on which raw materials are used in the production of which product and in what quantities should be recorded. The fact that all this information is defined and recorded for the traceability system becomes a data source to ensure the retrospective traceability of any product.

Main product groups and production stages of these groups should be defined, flow charts should be created. Thus, it will be possible to determine which information should be recorded and monitored during the production stages. In the light of this information, a traceability form is created for each production main group in accordance with the traceability system.

The opening of raw material orders and approval stages before the production stage should also be systematically recorded.

The stage of acceptance of the raw material into the enterprise by the traceability system is of great importance. Label information of all products supplied to the enterprise must be recorded. In addition, at this stage, issues such as temperature, hygiene and packaging integrity that may affect food safety should be kept under control and recorded.

The products, for which goods are accepted, must be recorded and documented when they are taken from the main warehouse to the kitchen underarm warehouses. The original label information of the products removed from their original packaging in underarm warehouses must be kept or the Product Information Label must be affixed to the product and the original label information must be transferred to these labels.

During the preparation of the products, through the traceability forms determined for each product group, records must be kept and maintained in order to keep track of critical temperature limits during the preparation, cooking, cooling, reheating, thawing or presentation stages of the products.

Finally, in order to check that the traceability system is being carried out effectively, traceability exercises should be carried out periodically and these exercises should be recorded.

You can click on the link below for the Hotel Kitchens and Ready Meal Traceability system documents that need to be created for the establishment and follow-up of the Traceability system:


Prepared by Gizem Kor, Food Engineer, Quality Manager