Between stricter FDA regulations regarding food product safety and increased consumer demand for product transparency, food companies small and large need to prioritize food traceability in their day-to-day operations.

Foodlogiq’s Katie McBeth breaks down some of the common myths surrounding traceability: 

Myth 1: Traceability is only important to food companies.

Fact: Today’s consumers are placing increased value on sustainability, ethical sourcing, and transparency. They are not just looking for healthy foods, but they are purchasing from brands that can provide exact information about the ingredients, sourcing, and ecological impact of those foods, too. One study shows that approximately 72% of consumers find transparency to be “important” or “extremely” important in their purchasing decision, and they are more likely to buy from companies that are transparent about their ingredients and supply chains.

Myth 2: Traceability is just a suggestion, not a requirement.

Fact: Food traceability regulations – as mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – can be traced back to the early 2000s, when one-up, one-back recordkeeping was used to link food products throughout each point in the supply chain. In 2011, President Obama signed into law the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), encouraging a more proactive regulation on food safety (yes, including traceability!).

Myth 3: Food product recalls continue to increase, so traceability efforts don’t matter.

Fact: It’s not that food was never contaminated in the past or that somehow food quality has faltered; rather, because of stricter regulations and more proactive approaches to food safety, companies have become more in-tune with identifying risks and keeping consumers safe. This, inevitably, has resulted in the reporting of more food product recalls in the past 10 years, and it is a testament to the importance of solid food traceability efforts that enable companies to act quickly and efficiently.

Myth 4: Food traceability software is expensive.

Fact: When you think about the average food recall costing your brand anywhere from $2-$10 million, it is hard to argue that investing time and resources into an effective food traceability system is “expensive.” Having the right solution in place to quickly track and trace a contaminated product’s exact location on the supply chain can help save you time and money in the long run.