ECR Europe has produced a guide spelling out how retailers and suppliers can comply with new EU food safety and traceability legislation.
The EU regulation on general food law, which comes into effect in January 2005, places a legal responsibility on the food industry to trace products right through the supply chain and also develop strategies in the event of a product recall or food scare.
The new guide outlines the key requirements for product traceability based on global location numbers to identify supply chain partners; global trade identification numbers that uniquely identify products; serial shipping container codes to identify logistics units such as pallets; and lot codes, which identify batches of products.
Speaking at the press briefing to publicise the forthcoming ECR Europe conference (see above), Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy said that the new book helped advise companies so that products that were attached to any food safety scare could be rapidly located and removed from the market.
He said: “This principle is linked to the ability of a company to take products along the supply chain, to withdraw them from distribution channels whenever necessary and recall them from consumers whenever required.”