Traceability to ensure food safety and consumer protection as typified by case studies of three meat processing plants

Author: M. Stanisławek, D. Miarka, H. Kowalska & J. Kowalska
Year: 2021
Issue: 2
Volume: 51
Page: 241 - 249

Ensuring food safety is a legal obligation of the manufacturer or of the entity that places the product on sale. Traceability is one of the tools that are used to ensure food safety. It allows the withdrawal of a dangerous or non-compliant product from the market and determines the source of a threat. The aim of the study was to compare the functioning and effectiveness of traceability systems in selected approved meat industry plants. The system functioning in a large meat processing plant, in which the circulation of documents was implemented in a computer system, was compared with two smaller ones, in which paper documentation was carried out, but supported by a computer system. In these plants, the traceability system was based on internal procedures. Properly developed traceability procedures and simulations support and enable response in a crisis. Computer systems streamline and facilitate the traceability process. However, the comparative analysis showed that the use of paper records allowed for efficient identification of the source of the threat. The possibility of performing product traceability was confirmed in these plants. Internal markings and codes and documentation flow, staff training, and awareness proved helpful.

Keywords: consumer safety, food tracking, identification, meat products
Read article