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New Guideline for Grocery to Improve Traceability, Food Safety

GS1 US guidance helps leverage EPC/RFID technology to track cases and cartons
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
New Guideline for Grocery to Improved Traceability, Food Safety
GS1’s guidance was developed to support industry's increased attention to tech-enabled traceability and the New Era of Smarter Food Safety.

To enable better recall management, freshness management and operational efficiencies in the grocery and foodservice industries, GS1 US has released its "GS1 US EPC Extended Attributes Implementation Guideline for the Food Industry" document, which provides direction for leveraging electronic product code/radio frequency identification (EPC/RFID) technology to track cases and cartons.

Effectively tracking food products at the carton and case level helps ensure food safety, recall readiness and supply chain visibility. The guidance document explains how to capture extended attribute data within the EPC/RFID data carrier. The guideline was developed to operate within existing GS1 Standards for encoding product data  like batch/lot, date, serial number and net weight  in an EPC scheme, better enabling the digital communication of traceability data with EPC/RFID at each point across the supply chain.

Encoding additional data such as batch/lot number and date into the EPC/RFID tag memory facilitates use cases such as removing products from a recalled lot or rotating products effectively to ensure freshness. EPC/RFID solutions' inventory visibility without line-of-sight scanning can also save time and labor.

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advocating for tech-enabled traceability to improve food safety through the New Era of Smarter Food Safety blueprint," said Angela Fernandez, VP, community engagement, GS1 US. "The guideline can help industry leaders extend their investments in GS1 Standards through RFID, which will ultimately accelerate data capture, help them adapt to shifting consumer demands and support traceability during this critical moment in food safety." 

Ewing, N.J.-based GS1 US, a member of GS1 global, is a not-for-profit information standards organization that facilitates industry collaboration to help improve supply chain visibility and efficiency through the use of GS1 Standards. Nearly 300,000 businesses in 25 industries rely on GS1 US for trading partner collaboration that optimizes their supply chains and drives cost performance and revenue growth while also enabling regulatory compliance.

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