If you are involved in the seafood supply chain, you are probably aware that seafood traceability was included in the Bioterrorism Act of 2002 and confirmed by the more recent (but very slow moving) Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010.
One of the goals of these acts is to be able track food items in the supply chain so that recalls can be handled quickly and efficiently, in the event that something goes wrong.
For the producer of seafood products, being able to control the size of any recall is important in order to minimize financial liability – obviously the smaller the size of a recall the better.
While many other food types have similar traceability requirements, seafood presents some special challenges. For a start, a lot of fishing is just completely unregulated and no records kept. According to the Waitt Foundation, this is about 18% of the total global catch and as high as 50% in some important fisheries.
While governments try to control this, at a practical level, here in the US the National fisheries Institute, GS1 and many important seafood companies have produced a US Seafood Traceability Implementation Guide.
The Guide uses GS1’s global standards to bring into play a complete traceability system that can track seafood from catch (or farm) to consumer in the same way that other food products and assets can be tracked.
I don’t know about you, but quite apart from controlling product recalls, I really like to know that what I’m eating is what the label claims it is and the GS1 system is a good start on the road to making this happen.
Here at Winco ID we have many years experience in labeling and barcode solutions for the seafood industry and have helped clients in many industries implement GS1 labeling solutions and we can help you too – need label templates for the GS1 system – we can do that!
Join Us at The Boston International Seafood Show
What’s your toughest seafood labeling challenge? Bring it along to The Boston International Seafood Show, booth 191 and we’ll try and help you out!