The Institute of Food Technologists (Ift) has revealed plans to increase the speed at which contaminated products are traced within the supply chain in the US.

The two pilot programmes for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are designed to identify methods of tracing products within the supply chain so that products can be identified quickly and removed from shelves, to help minimise the number of consumers affected by a contaminated product.

As part of phase one, “systems currently in use for identifying, capturing, storing, and sharing data will be “tweaked” to facilitate data analysis,” the company said.

During the second stage, supply chain data will be used to “determine if the interfaces between existing systems are sufficient to trace a product both forward and back along the supply chain”, the IFT added.

“Our work for FDA over the past 12 years lays a solid foundation for us to conduct these pilots,” said IFT executive vice president Barbara Byrd Keenan.
The pilots are expected to be completed in 2012, the IFT added.

The study will involve state regulators, US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (USDA FSIS), consumer groups and other stakeholders.