GS1 Food Safety Initiative

GS1 LOGOGS1, the barcode standards organization has teamed up with a number of leading food processors to come up with a standard for improving identification, tracking and traceability in the food supply chain. (As this NY Times article shows, improvements are needed fast)

The initiative uses a number of existing GS1 standards and brings them together in a proposal that it is hoped the food industry will want to adapt.

These standards include:

GS1 Location Identification – use the Global Location Number (GLN) to identify manufacturer and distributor locations.

GS1 Product Identification – the existing Global Trade Item Number® (GTIN®) to identify products.

GS1 Global Data Synchronization Network® (GDSN®) GS1’network can allow trading partners to sync tracking and traceability information in real-time.

The proposal would also allow for product attributes to be included with the data – rather like the UID pedigree data that the DoD uses.

There are 3 goals of the initiate:

  • drive waste out of the food service supply chain
  • improve product information for customers
  • establish a foundation for improving food safety and traceability that companies can choose to adopt
  • While I personally would have put safety first on the list, it does seem as though this is a real attempt by the industry and GS1 to improve things – probably the timing is intended to head off upcoming legislation which will force food companies to pay more attention to the safety of their customers.

    For a list of the founding companies involved in the initiative see here.

    Here at Winco ID we believe that a solid track and traceability solution for the food processing and distribution industry makes good sense, not just for safety, but for general business improvement as well.

    If you want to introduce a tracking and traceability solution into your operation, give me a call at 603-598-1553 x237.

    We believe that tracking and traceability in the food industry is going to be a big part of the AIDC business over the next few years. What do you think? Are you involved in the industry? How does the proposed Food Safety Act affect you?

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