Food Defense

The overall process of protecting the food supply from intentional contamination, including preventive measures, surveillance, incident reporting and control (NAL Thesaurus Definition).

Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.

August 2014

The food traceability regulations of 21 Organization for Economic Co‐Operation and Development (OECD) countries were examined with attention to whether these regulations are comprehensive for all food commodities and processed foods. The countries were evaluated based on responses to a series of questions that were developed to allow assessment of their traceability programs. The questions sought background information on whether: mandatory traceability regulation(s) exists at the national level within a given country; regulations include imported products, and the nature of required documentation for imports; an electronic database(s) for traceability exists and, if present, its accessibility; and labeling regulations allow consumer access and understanding of traceability. The examination ranked the countries that have specific traceability regulations for all commodities, both domestic and imports, as “Progressive,” while countries with less broad or stringent regulations were ranked as “Moderate,” and countries that were still in the developmental stage of mandatory or industry‐led traceability requirements were ranked as “Regressive.” Aggregate scores were developed from all of the rankings, determined on the basis of the questions, for each of the 21 countries, to provide an overall world ranking score. The aggregate scores were “Superior,” “Average,” or “Poor.”

Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.

September 2014

Several regulatory agencies around the world are involved in rulemaking to improve the traceability of foods. Given the complexity of the global food system, guidance on improving traceability practices across the entire food industry is a challenge. A review of the current regulations and best practices indicates that “one back, one forward” is the minimum traceability requirement. There are also no uniform requirements across different food sectors, supply chains, or countries for collection of Critical Tracking Events (CTEs) and Key Data Elements (KDEs). There is a need for standardized and harmonized requirements across all food sectors compared with developing specialized rules and mandates, including exceptions, for specific foods. This document presents food traceability best practices guidance and it addresses the unknowns and gaps in understanding and the broad applicability of a CTE–KDE framework. It applies this framework to 6 food sectors as bakery, dairy, meat and poultry, processed foods, produce, and seafood. An analysis of similarities and differences across these sectors is conducted to determine broader applicability to other foods. Fifty‐five experts from 11 countries were involved in developing this guidance. This guidance document is intended for regulatory agencies and the food industry. Regulators will find it useful in developing regulations and/or guidance applicable to most foods. Industry will find the minimum criteria that are necessary to manage a proper food traceability system, with the understanding that companies can choose to exceed the minimum level of criteria established. This guidance is intended to serve as a step toward consistent baseline requirements for food traceability.