What is Traceability?

Suswise
9/9/2022

Traceability; It is a risk management tool that enables access to all recorded data regarding all processes from the beginning of a product's production to packaging, storage, transportation and then reaching the consumer, and enables retrospective follow-up. traceability in Turkish food legislation; It is defined as “tracing and tracking of plant products, food and feed, the animal or plant from which the food is obtained, a substance intended or expected to be found in food and feed during all stages of production, processing and distribution”. At the same time, this system is a legal requirement. Businesses by establishing traceability systems for reasons such as human health, protecting the reputation of the business, preventing fraud cases; They can eliminate the risks that would endanger the safety of food physically, chemically or biologically.

When we consider the food chain in the past years, we see that the products reach the consumer directly from the farm. However, the food chain model formed today has gained a much more developed and different form. In this form, the product is transported from the farms to the place of production where the food will be processed, and after its production is completed, it comes back to the place of sale by transportation. Through the sales outlets, the product now waits for the end consumer. With the increasing technology, end consumers have access to information about whether the products they consume are safe or not, much easier than before. Therefore, in case of any adverse event related to the product that may adversely affect human health, the consumer may request the product to be returned, replaced or inspected. In line with the incoming demand, the manufacturer's; It is necessary to determine exactly at what stage the problem occurred and its source. This is only possible with tools that support food safety, such as traceability. The Traceability system should also be tested at specified periods. These tests take place from raw material to final product, from final product to raw material, thus ensuring the sustainability of the traceability system.

It is important for businesses to document all data in the process from primary production to the final consumer, including imports. In case of possible danger; As required by the traceability system, a retrospective follow-up is performed and the source of the problem is traced.

The Traceability system has three main elements. First, the inputs and batches are defined into the system. Latter; Compiling and storing information such as unit, product, storage. The last element is the establishment of a system that will enable these two elements to be associated. The batch number in the first article, as well as the serial number concepts that we hear frequently, are important in terms of ensuring the traceability system. The batch number is all the parts that are produced on the same day and come out of a machine in one go. Serial numbers are numbers given to each product produced separately. Batch number and serial number as well as other methods allow the manufacturer to be traced back. For example, when the manufacturer receives a return regarding a faulty or harmful product, by looking at the batch and serial numbers of that product; can immediately access the information on which day, at what hour, with which machine and by whom it was produced. 

traceability is an opportunity for all businesses that want the product they produce to be of the highest quality and reliability and aim to minimize the error. When evaluated in terms of the consumer, the most important benefit of the traceability system is human health. In terms of the producer, both safe foods that do not pose a risk to human health are produced, and events that may cause material and moral damage to the producer, such as recalling the product, are prevented.