Recall Management in the Fruit and Vegetable Industry - METTLER TOLEDO

Recall Management in the Fruit and Vegetable Industry

Better traceability can help prevent recalls

Fruits and vegetables are a consistent source of recalls in the food industry. The reasons for this vary. However, recalls generally arise from significant growth the in the lengths of supply chains, which presents more opportunity for inconsistent handling, and the fact that vegetables and fruits are, by their very nature, perishable.

It is a producer’s responsibility to meet a variety of food industry regulations that are designed to keep consumers healthy and confident in the quality of the food they eat—and, by extension, in a producer’s brand. However, even with the best processes and equipment in place, that is easier said than done.

What makes fruits and vegetables susceptible?

During transit, fruits and vegetables are susceptible to a variety of stressors that can cause decreases in quality or outright spoilage. These include variation in temperature during transit, use or misuse of preservatives, and length of time spent in transit.

Any mistakes in pesticide or fertilizer use during the growing cycle do not just lead to spoilage—they can lead to an automatic recall or notification from regulatory agencies. The strict nature of regulations results in fewer substandard products staying on the market or crossing into other territories or jurisdictions, even at today’s significantly increased production volumes.

How important is traceability?

Traceability is critical to preserving the integrity of the supply chain and enabling recalls should they occur. An improved global supply chain should coordinate food recalls across country borders, mitigating the risk of a global threat to human health. This requires that every party involved in the supply chain record and communicate information regarding sourcing, processing, transportation and storage of the food in question. Modern technology holds the key.

Mitigate your risk as a producer

As a food producer, it is critical to stop contaminated food from reaching consumers. The best system to ensure preventative traceability fits easily into a company’s normal working practice and enables easy information access.

In case of recall, industrial weighing, measuring and inspection systems record information regarding sourcing, processing and storage immediately, thus protecting consumers and allowing fast response to any potentially dangerous situations.

Barcode-enabled scales provide a fast way to secure the food chain and are important identification points in a traceability system to track large amounts of food-related data. A well-designed traceability system provides easier fulfillment of regulations, a wealth of data to improve internal processes, consumer health assurance, and fewer recall-related costs.

Want to learn more about how to prevent recalls?

Visit www.mt.com/ind-recallmanagement

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