Recent developments across the globe have put an increasing focus on the traceability of foods. Complicated supply chains of hundreds of ingredients that are used to make a food product make food product tracing a daunting task. In an effort to better protect public health from foodborne illness outbreaks and recalls, governments across the world are in the process of implementing new regulations around food traceability.
The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is pleased to announce a new supplement available online through IFT's peer-reviewed scientific journal, Journal of Food Science. This supplement is an attempt to catalyze and jump start the process of achieving a multi-disciplinary, cross-functional, whole community approach to food traceability.
Within the supplement, there are peer-reviewed articles on the proceedings of the three Traceability Research Summits conducted by IFT where 50 subject matter experts from across the food and technology sectors convened to discuss firstly, what do we mean by traceability, then how can we pragmatically achieve it, and finally, why is it important to do so. This set the stage for pre-competitive multi-stakeholder cross-sector collaboration in moving the food industry towards improved traceability.
In addition, there is an executive summary of the food product tracing pilots conducted by IFT for the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to evaluate the need for additional recordkeeping requirements for improving current regulatory and industry traceability practices. Also included is a summary of a study funded by the National Center for Food Protection and Defense that looks at the interoperability of traceability technologies. A white paper on how all this fits together "to make traceability work" is also included.
IFT has been involved in and leading the discussion on traceability for almost a decade. Most recently, they launched the Global Food Traceability Center, a not-for-profit collaborative, public-private partnership. This entity brings together key stakeholders in the agri-food system to collaborate on providing timely product tracing solutions and serves as an authoritative, scientific, and unbiased source for food traceability. It will assist companies to better trace the paths of products through the supply chain to improve food safety, mitigate risk and avoid devastating health consequences and economic impacts to the food system.
The journal's special supplement can be accessed at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jfds.2013.78.issue-s2/issuetoc
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