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Tree Top

Traceability Ensures Food Safety

11/6/2020  By Kristine McDonald

Traceability Ensures Food Safety

Traceability in the food supply chain means that manufacturers can track the movement of a product through all the stages of manufacturing and distribution. U.S. Federal regulations require all manufacturers to have the ability to trace food products both forward (Trace-Forward) to the final customers and backward (Trace-Back) to the raw material sources. The traceability requirement is to ensure any product with a food safety issue that requires a recall has sufficient information to be able to alert and retrieve all contaminated product from the public, as well as to investigate back through the supply chain to find the source and the scope of the issue.

A food safety recall investigation back through the supply chain as far as the farm may be needed to determine the cause – which could be pesticide contamination, microbial contamination, or contamination of the raw material with undeclared ingredients in the final product. To facilitate this investigation, many companies are equipped with manufacturing software that allows for easy visualization of the product chain from the receipt of raw ingredients to the manufacturing of the end product to distribution to warehouses, and ultimately, delivery to the final customer.

Many food safety recalls can be avoided if issues are identified upstream in the supply chain and there is the ability to hold or withdraw products before they reach final users. Real-time data on product and supply chain traceability allows for the prevention of not only food safety issues but also issues that arise with non-GMO, kosher, organic, and other customer driven programs. The more capable our ingredient and packaging suppliers are with their traceability; the sooner finished goods manufacturers can be alerted to issues. 

Tree Top recently underwent a large project to update our manufacturing software. One of the major benefits from this upgrade is our ability to track and trace, forward and back, with great detail, and very quickly. In the previous version, we were able to do this same evaluation, but this upgrade has increased the speed at which we can access all the track and trace data.

This is just one of the many ways Tree Top is improving our processes to better serve customers. If you are looking for a reliable, quality first, fruit ingredient manufacturer, please explore our fruit product offerings. Or, email us at