A Checklist for Choosing the Right FSMA 204 Traceability Partner
August 1, 2023
The FDA released the final Food Traceability Rule in November 2022. Since the announcement nearly 10 months ago, we’ve heard varying sentiments about compliance with the rule. Several of our industry partners reached out right away, acknowledging that getting their enterprise organization and trading partners ready for compliance by January 2026 would mean they’d need to start now. Others were more hesitant to evaluate their processes and systems, assuming that non-compliance would have few implications.
Since then, more and more organizations are realizing they need to act sooner than later. Most have read the rule and identified if any of the foods they manufacture, process, pack or hold are on the Food Traceability List (FTL). This is where many organizations are stuck on what to do next.
What’s the Next Step in My Path to FSMA 204 Compliance?
In taking a “Learn, Plan, Do, Review” approach to FSMA 204 compliance as outlined by New Era Partners in this FSMA 204 compliance timeline, you should be asking the following questions of your organization and its trading partners:
- What are your customers’ requirements for receiving your shipping Key Data Elements (KDEs)?
- Do your current systems allow you to capture, maintain, and share KDEs?
- Are your suppliers able to share shipping KDEs with you?
Once you determine your system capabilities and gaps, your next step may be to evaluate digital solution providers who can help your organization and its trading partners confidently understand and achieve the three requirements above. Once you’ve identified your organization’s system requirements for FSMA 204 compliance, you’ll want to evaluate solution providers who can meet those requirements.
How Do I Find the Right Digital Solution Provider?
Knowing what solution capabilities to look for when evaluating potential solution partners can be daunting. Since the proposed rule was announced in September 2020, iFoodDS has been working to confidently understand what compliance with FSMA 204 looks like, who is covered by the rule, and what is required of a digital traceability solution to help trading partners across the entire supply chain capture, maintain, and share required KDEs across all Critical Tracking Events (CTEs).
Every food traceability solution provider must meet minimum mandatory software requirements to confidently guide your organization through FSMA 204 compliance. We’ve put together this solution provider selection checklist you can use when meeting with potential traceability solution (PDF download) partners to ensure they meet all requirements for FSMA 204 Compliance.
Some key capabilities include:
- Ability to easily activate your supplier network, capture supplier data, and give visibility into supply chain compliance.
- Ability to share master data such as product and location information, and event data such as harvest, cooling, transformation, and shipping records.
- Ability to look up the Traceability Lot Code Source in a secure, standards-based way. Ability to easily generate your electronic sortable spreadsheet in conformance with FDA Requirements.
- 24 x 7 technical support and assigned account managers.
Download our full traceability solution provider checklist (PDF download) to ensure the solution partner you choose has the minimum software capabilities to help your organization fully comply with the FDA’s Food Traceability Rule.
Trust in your Solution Provider is Critical to Success
Many solution providers say they can help you quickly comply with FSMA 204. However, navigating the rule as an enterprise organization with many trading partners can take a lot of work to manage. iFoodDS is one of the only traceability solution partners currently providing capabilities required to guide an organization through full FSMA 204 compliance. iFoodDS offers a Network Traceability Solution designed specifically to support your organization and your full network of trading partners.