Just having some thoughts about recalls and traceability this morning. What if you are a distributor selling a variety of frozen soups. You see that there is a pathogen recall on Green Beans from supplier XYZ. You do not sell Green Beans, so why worry, the lot numbers do not match any of the product you have in storage. You need to think about whether or not any of your product contains Green Beans. You use Share-ify to check the specifications for the products’ ingredients and the supply chain partner linkages.
Interesting, are you going to review your past shipments to customers or just check your present inventory, if you actually did sell Green Beans?
Well, let’s say the supplier XYZ sells a lot of frozen cut Green Beans to company ABC who produces Bulk Mixed Vegetables. The Green Beans are comingled with corn, carrots, and lima beans. Guess what Share-ifyers? You now have another lot number and product number.
These Bulk Mixed Vegetables may be repackaged into retail pouches (new product number and lot number) or supplied to a further processor. What if the retail pouches have to be reworked back into Bulk Mixed Vegetables due to seal failures on the pouches, new lot number (stranger things have happened).
What if the further processor only wants Mix Vegetables deliveries in 40-pound cases? You have a new lot number and product number.
So, the Frozen Soup processor uses the Mixed Vegetables aka Green Beans in a couple different products. Guess what Share-ifyers, you have some more product numbers and lot numbers to review for action. But, who is going to notify you that your products have been affected by the Green Bean issue?
Let’s say that the issue is found first on one of the finished goods, how far back in the process do you trace back to identify the root cause of the issue? You probably end up tracing back to supplier XYZ. Then trace back down the supply chain to find out that there are more products affected by the issue.
Just a curious question, who is actually monitoring the overall shelf life of the green beans during this entire process?
What if the issue actually originated at the grower level? The Green Bean field was flooded with sewage-contaminated water. Now that would be a nice Listeria, E. coli, and Salmonella soup with green beans. Of course, you may be counting on a Certificate of Analysis or that the Green Beans actually get a kill step somewhere in the supply chain. Never get comfortable or make assumptions regarding compliance, there are dozens of ways these “preventive measures” can fail.
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