Industry groups will comment on trace report
The Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI), designed to help the produce industry maximize the effectiveness of current traceback procedures, is currently developing a response to the Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT) 10 recommendations released by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the document entitled “Pilot Projects for Improving Product Tracing along the Food Supply System Final Report.”
PTI, with the coordination of its four administering organizations (Canadian Produce Marketing Association, GS1 US, Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association) will work to collect industry feedback and commentary on each of the 10 recommendations outlined in the report.
FDA is now seeking comments on the pilot project final report as a next step in the process of submitting the findings to Congress and developing proposed traceability rules in support of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
The pilot projects were designed to explore and demonstrate methods for rapid and effective tracking and tracing of food, including types of data that are useful for tracing and ways to connect the various points in the supply chain.
“Many of us in the grower/packer/shipper community are pleased to see that the IFT recommends a uniform set of recordkeeping requirements, encourages current industry-led initiatives, and suggests the development of standardized electronic mechanisms for the reporting of traceability data,” said Sabrina Pokomandy, marketing and public relations manager at JemD Farms, who also co-chairs the PTI Communications Working Group. “These recommendations are in alignment with the goals and vision of PTI and help us move forward with industry-wide traceability implementations.”
The IFT pilot projects are designed to explore and demonstrate methods for rapid and effective tracking and tracing of food, including types of data that are useful for tracing, ways to connect the various points in the supply chain and how quickly data can be made available to FDA. In addition to providing the findings of the pilot projects, the report contains IFT’s recommendations to FDA for improving the tracking and tracing of food.
Comments received about the IFT report will be considered when FDA begins to take on rules for recordkeeping of high-risk foods to make traceability easier.
Comments may be made within 30 days after publishing of the report in the Federal Register, which was March 5. To submit comments electronically, visit http://www.regulations.gov and enter docket number FDA-2012-N-1153.
To read the IFT report, go to IFT Final Report here: Pilot Projects for Improving Product Tracing along the Food Supply System.