Everything You Need to Know About the Produce Traceability Initiative

Produce Traceability
9/10/2014

Consumer confidence is one of the most important aspects of developing long-term customers that come back over and over again. In the food industry, confidence is extremely important and crucial. Despite this, the Food and Drug Administration hasn't quite finalized traceability regulations for produce. However, thanks to the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI), plenty of participants (in all levels of the supply chain) are already making a conscious effort to improve processes, promote sustainability, and increase safety.

What is the Produce Traceability Initiative?

According to the FDA, "The Produce Traceability Initiative is a voluntary, industry-wide effort designed to help the industry maximize the effectiveness of current track and trace procedures, while developing a standardized industry approach to enhance the speed and efficiency of traceability systems for the future."

The PTI is governed by a 34-member leadership council and dozens of volunteer-led groups assist with implementation and monitoring.  The main goal behind the initiative is to promote transparency in the estimated 6 billion cases of annual produce sold in the United States each year. Instead of wondering where the produce originated from, distributors and consumers deserve the right to farm-to-store visibility.  The PTI accomplishes this through the use of standardized product information, case level tracking, and electronic recordkeeping.

Why is the Produce Traceability Initiative Important?

The PTI is important for many reasons, but ultimately it comes down to the safety of the consumer. While the Bioterrorism Act of 2002 requires food handlers to keep records of where food was sourced and shipped from, it is by no means a foolproof system. The PTI looks to capitalize on the existing framework of the Bioterrorism Act by improving visibility, traceability, and documentation.

Ultimately, the PTI works to keep both international and domestic produce shipments safe. By tracking and tracing individual cases, it's easy to detect and eliminate specific shipments when contaminated produce is found in supermarkets. This helps individual stores establish trust and keeps customers safe from harmful diseases and infections.

T3 Technologies' Role in the Produce Traceability Initiative

At T3 Technologies, we understand that the PTI is only as good as the technology it has access to. Our T3 Produce Scan solution was developed with that in mind. Our product scans and labels produce cases with individual barcodes for tracking and monitoring. The benefits include quality assurance, food traceability, increased management capacity, and inventory management. Our T3 Produce Scan is fully integrated and utilizes technologies like pocket PC handhelds, bar code scanning and RFID, barcode printers, and wireless data transmission.

For more information on our T3 Produce Scan technology, please contact us today. We would be happy to discuss the Produce Traceability Initiative in further detail and can answer any questions you may have.

Tags: produce traceability initiative, pti

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