Have you ever strolled the produce section at your local grocery store and wondered where the food came from? Now, you might be able to. Consumers today are demanding more transparency when it comes to their food — and producers are responding. Many are turning to barcode software that allows items to be labeled and tracked across the food supply chain. This boosts traceability efforts and allows buyers a more comprehensive overview of where their items come from. This barcode software also helps Food and Beverage (F&B) manufacturers meet stringent food safety regulations. When food items are tracked at every touchpoint from the farm to the table, discrepancies are easily found. Also, issues are more quickly resolved, and teams can effectively work together. Today, we’re taking a look at some of the top ways barcode software can help F&B teams solve food safety challenges head-on. Ready to get started? Let’s dig in!
- Complete Labels, Fewer Recalls
Did you know that in 2016 alone, there was more than 760 food recalls, a 22% jump from the year before? One of the top factors: undeclared allergens. According to a recent report, 42% of recalls issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is a result of misbranding. Labels were missing or incomplete. Ingredients lists weren’t revealed in full. Allergens weren’t identified. Identification software helps ensure that all items are properly and thoroughly labeled from the onset. This helps avoid any potential repercussions down the line. In the event that a recall does occur, this barcode software makes it easier than ever to pinpoint exactly which batches were affected.
- A Stronger Focus on Prevention
In January 2011, President Obama signed into effect the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This was the most comprehensive reform of food safety in 70 years. The FSMA’s main initiative is to identify and rectify food safety issues before they even begin. This switch to preventative controls versus strictly responsive ones is exactly why this type of software was created. Food items are affixed with labels as soon as they enter the F&B supply chain. Then, teams across departments can identify where they’re going, how they’re getting there, and when they should arrive. This real-time tracking mechanism means that issues can be addressed immediately. They can even be avoided before they occur. This is a huge step in the right direction for food safety initiatives.
- Safety at the Organizational Level
F&B manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers are seeking to make internal changes in compliance with FSMA regulations. One major action item they’re putting into place is establishing in-house controls for food safety. The FSMA requires food facilities to create and maintain a written preventative controls plan. This plan requires them to, in part:
- Evaluate potential hazards
- Delineate specific preventative controls
- Specify how each control will be monitored and recorded for accuracy
As such, many are turning to barcode software to keep track of every movement their inventory takes. This allows for efficient and clean recordkeeping and monitoring, two of the FSMA’s top safety plan requirements.
Barcode Software and More: Tracking Solutions You Can Trust
If you’re an F&B leader looking to invest in barcode software to take your food safety operations to the next level, we’d love to help. As a leader in inventory tracking and asset management solutions, we’re skilled in all areas of barcoding. From specialty barcode labels to thermal printers, we’re a one-stop-shop for your identification and barcode labeling needs. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to check out our product line, browse our blog, or contact us today and let’s connect!