The traceability systems play a key role in further quality management, greater efficiency in production processes or better customer service. The control and monitoring of products in any company is an important aspect of the essential today. One of the sectors where the most exhaustive traceability systems are carried out is in the food industry. 

What is traceability? 

 is the term used to define all the actions that are taken to carry out the control and monitoring of the 
control and traceability
 of a product during all stages of the production process.. 

International Organization for Standardization 
(ISO 9001:2008) defines traceability as «tthe property of the result of a measurement or the value of a standard where it can be related to specified references, usually national or international standards, through a continuous chain of comparisons all with specified uncertainties.« 

All the necessary information is obtained by means of a 
traceability system
. These systems will have to be composed of 
four elements

  1. Identification system
    Identification system: either of the products individually or grouped in batches. 

  1. System for data capture
    Data collection system: it is essential to collect all the information about raw materials, factories and warehouses. 

  1. Data management software
    It is important that all the information that has been obtained is correctly managed and administered. On 
     we have software with which to carry out this task correctly. 

  1. Data to be recorded
    Once the data has been accumulated, it will be necessary to register it. 

Traceability Plan 

In order to implement a traceability system, the first step is to draw up a Traceability P
traceability plan
. In this pn the following table, all the criteria to be used for product trajectory tracking are collected. to follow the trajectory of the products. 

How to implement a Traceability Plan 

In order to correctly implement a Traceability Plan, the first step is to make a preliminary analysis of the 
prior analysis of the file systems
 used by suppliers and customers, as well as those of the company itself. This is done to check what information can be used and to avoid so unnecessary efforts. 

When implementing the plan, it should be divided into two parts and, in general, the following information should be collected: 

  • Traceability Program:
     in this first part, all the necessary actions to correctly identify 
    necessary actions to correctly identify and trace the
     the products made from the raw materials, intermediate products, if any, production data and final recipients. Specifically, it shall: 
  • Define the 
    scope of application 
    of traceability. 
  • Define the 
    criteria for grouping 
    products in relation to traceability. 
  • Define the 
    identification system 
    of the products. 
  • Develop the 
    mechanisms for checking the system 
    by the company. 
  • Create 
    communication mechanisms
     in the company. 
  • Establish the 
    mechanisms for the location, immobilization
     and, if necessary, 
    withdrawal from

    l market
     of the products. 
  • Select the tools to be used for the identification of 
    of the products. 

  • Registers
    In the second part, the results are 
    the results of the traceability plan
     of having implemented the traceability plan. 

The traceability to be carried out will be given from
 two areas

Internal traceabilityis the one that takes place within the company. It consists of tracking each product within the company, regardless of whether new products are produced or not. In addition, the products obtained from suppliers should be linked to the processes they have undergone and to the final products received by customers. 

External traceabilityare the extra data that are added to the internal traceability. It is the exchange of information between the different parts of the supply chain.  

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