• Traceability
  • Food & Beverage

How to Become FSMA Compliant with Traceability for Food Manufacturing

Written by Michael Clark
November 12, 2020


  • The FDA recently issued the new FSMA Proposed Rule for Food Traceability, increasing its track and trace requirements for food manufacturers.
  • Traceability solutions are more crucial than ever to enable recall readiness and FSMA compliance in the supply chain, as well as future requirements.
  • Track and trace software has proven efficient and effective for food companies like DSM.

The FDA’s new FSMA Proposed Rule for Food Traceability is just one of many traceability requirements for food manufacturers.

The FDA’s new push for food manufacturers to become FSMA compliant increases the need for improved traceability.

The FDA released the new FSMA Proposed Rule for Food Traceability in October 2020. The rule will boost traceability requirements for manufacturers of certain foods, including cheese, leafy greens, nut butters, tomatoes, and more. The rule also paves the way for widening the scope of additional ingredients and food products in the future.

While the new standard will further protect human safety, it also comes with added stress. Food manufacturers must adopt new measures to become FSMA compliant as quickly as possible or put their business at risk.

More than ever, food companies are turning to traceability software to ensure compliance, automate track-and-trace, and ensure customer trust.

Why Traceability Software Is So Important

Food manufacturers must be able to locate contaminated food ingredients and finished products in the event of a recall. With the COVID-19 pandemic, contamination risk is at an all-time high.

However, only 20% of consumers trust food manufacturers to ensure the safety of the food they make and distribute. The financial impact can be devastating. Over 50% of companies facing a recall expect $10 million in losses.

Attempting to answer a recall using manual paper processes is next to impossible.

Failure to quickly and effectively trace food products comes with consequences:

You can read more about mitigating recall risks with this free Food Traceability Survival Guide.


How to Meet FSMA with Barcode Scanning

Using barcode scanning to track ingredients and food as it flows throughout your operation can reduce the scope of a recall and help you maintain crucial customer trust in the process.

Using barcode scanning to track ingredients and food as it flows throughout your operation can reduce the scope of a recall and help you maintain crucial customer trust in the process.

According to the ITC, traceability solutions can help reduce the scope of food and beverage recalls by up to 95%. The money saved by adopting a traceability technology far outweighs the cost of the solution itself. With a track-and-trace system, a $10-million recall can be reduced down to less than $ 1 million.

According to Zebra Technologies, this is the main reason why 88-90% of food and beverage companies plan to adopt one or more of the following in the next five years:

  • Handheld barcode scanners
  • Mobile barcode labels
  • Printers or mobile computers with scanners

Traceability can be automated with mobile barcoding software and hardware. Highly accurate mobile data collection captures granular levels of information in real time, including label, lot and serial numbers, Country of Origin (COO), and GTIN.

Every transaction is automatically recorded in your ERP as materials flow through your warehouse and manufacturing floor. Track raw material consumption, WIP inventory, finished products, scrap, assets and more.

Further enhance efficient track and trace with:

And more.

RFgen Use Case: DSM Achieves Multinational Lot-Level Traceability

DSM is a global manufacturer of nutritional products for world health organizations on six continents. Traceability was a top concern. However, its legacy system couldn’t provide the exacting, end-to-end tracking capabilities DSM needed.

The DSM team decided to overhaul their old system with RFgen traceability software. Built on mobile barcoding technology, RFgen mobile inventory software automates track-and-trace with advanced mobile data collection for their ERP.

With lot-level traceability at each facility, DSM can confidently meet existing and new food safety requirements, including FSMA compliance.

Continue Reading: How DSM Achieved Multinational Traceability »


The FDA’s new FSMA Rule for Food Traceability continues the trend of tightening traceability requirements for manufacturers. Gaining traceability compliance requires technology since it is not feasible to use manual or paper inventory processes.

Investing in traceability solutions is more necessary than ever. Food manufacturers must be able to pivot at a moment’s notice to meet changing standards and maintain consumer trust. The cost of implementing traceability software is a small price to pay when faced with the tremendous financial burden of a major recall.

The choice is clear: Traceability is a must-have in food manufacturing.