FSMA Rule 204 Information Hub

FSMA 204 Compliance Deadline

FSMA 204 is finalized and will be enforced January 20, 2026. Are you prepared?

iFoodDS has been actively participating in the conversation around FDA’s Food Traceability Rule (FSMA 204). We’ve had the opportunity to speak at various tradeshows and participate in many webinars to discuss the best approach to preparing your organization to meet compliance requirements.

As members of GS1, we’ve been involved in ongoing traceability working groups and have had many discussions with industry leaders on the best path forward after FSMA 204 requirements were finalized.

This informational hub is designed to be an educational resource for the full supply chain as the food industry navigates FSMA 204. Learn what you need to do to comply and how you can collaborate with your supply chain partners to get the right data.

We’ll be updating this page regularly with new content and updated information if/when the FDA makes further updates to FSMA 204.

FDA Provides an Example of the Electronic Sortable Spreadsheet

Recently, FDA published an electronic sortable spreadsheet example template organizations can use as a guide when pulling their own traceability records into an electronic sortable spreadsheet format. FDA clearly notes that this specific template is not required to comply with the rule.

Going Beyond Compliance – Using Systems and Data You’re Already Using for FSMA 204 Compliance to Improve Food Quality

As you research traceability solution providers and the best systems to put in place for compliance with FDA’s Food Traceability Rule, there’s an important factor to consider that may impact your choices: How you can use these systems and data to enhance food quality.

5 Key Reasons the Traceability Lot Code Is So Important

5 key reasons why the Traceability Lot Code, the most important piece of data in FDA’s Food Traceability Rule (FSMA 204), is so important.

A Look at the Changing Landscape of FSMA 204 Data Carriers

The food industry is in the midst of a data-sharing revolution. Companies are deploying established and emerging data-sharing technologies to both comply with FDA’s Food Traceability Rule and to increase the transparency of their supply chains.

Food Traceability List in Pictures eBook

FSMA 204 requires organizations that manufacture, process, pack, or hold foods on the Food Traceability List to keep additional traceability records (Key Data Elements) for those foods. Gain a better understanding of what items are covered by reviewing our FTL in Pictures eBook.

2023: A Year in Review

As we look back on 2023, these were some of the most widely talked about and written about topics of the year.

What the Past Tells Us About the Future of FSMA 204

In this white paper, by Dr. Bob Whitaker, a produce safety expert and veteran, you will learn about the outbreak investigations and outcomes, and how the timelines and outcomes may have been different had FSMA 204 been in place.

Going Beyond FSMA 204 Compliance by Harnessing the Power of Data and Technology

Many companies covered by FDA’s Food Traceability Rule, also known as FSMA 204, are focused on the January 20, 2026 compliance deadline. Taking a step back to look at the big picture, it’s important to recognize that the work we’re doing now will yield benefits far beyond compliance with current regulations.

Standardized Data and the Path to FSMA 204 Compliance

Standardized data is the bedrock of compliance with FDA’s Food Traceability Rule, FSMA 204, facilitating use of the same language throughout the supply chain. This will allow for faster identification and rapid removal of potentially contaminated food from the market when there is an outbreak or recall.

Timeline to FSMA 204 Compliance, Part 4: REVIEW Your Organization’s Compliance with FSMA 204

If you’ve been following our Timeline to FSMA 204 Compliance series, you’re familiar with the Learn, Plan, Do, Review strategy we’ve referenced in Parts 1-3 of this series. Part 4 will discuss the timeline’s final but ongoing phase, “Review.”

Timeline to FSMA 204 Compliance, Part 3: DO (Put Your FSMA 204 Compliance Plan Into Action)

By now you should’ve learned how the rule applies to your organization, created your traceability plan, and identified your method for capturing, storing, and sharing KDEs. Now it’s time to act and DO all the work you set out to do.

Timeline to FSMA 204 Compliance, Part 2: PLAN For FSMA 204

Andy Kennedy of New Era Partners, and co-writer of FSMA Rule 204, designed a timeline outlining the path to compliance. He recommends first LEARNING about FSMA 204 before you act and implement any new processes or systems, then PLANNING your path to compliance.

Three Areas Where You’ll See the Greatest Return on Your FSMA 204 Investment

Organizations covered by FDA’s Food Traceability Rule often ask two questions: How much will it cost us to comply with the rule? And: Is it worth the risk to not comply?

Timeline to FSMA 204 Compliance, Part 1: LEARN About FSMA 204

With just over two years until the FDA Food Traceability Rule enforcement date, it’s crucial to start preparing now. Andy Kennedy, Principal Traceability Advisor at New Era Partners and co-writer of FSMA 204, designed a timeline outlining the path to compliance.  Andy recommends learning about the rule before you act and implement any new processes or systems. 

4 Myths About FSMA 204 Dispelled

There are misconceptions about how to comply with FSMA 204—FDA’s Final Food Traceability Rule—that make the rule appear more complicated than it actually is. We want to ease your concerns about four of the most common myths that have surfaced in recent months and provide facts and resources to consider as you look towards the January 20, 2026 compliance deadline. 

Traceability Plan Infographic

Download our free Traceability Plan requirements and Sample Plan infographic to help your organization create your own Traceability Plan

A Checklist for Choosing the Right FSMA 204 Traceability Partner

Knowing what solution capabilities to look for when evaluating potential solution partners can be daunting. iFoodDS has been working to confidently understand what compliance with FSMA 204 looks like and help the entire supply chain capture, maintain, and share required KDEs across all CTEs. Use our checklist to help ensure your solution partner meets all your requirements

13 Common Questions Asked About FSMA 204

iFoodDS is committed to helping those who must comply with the FSMA 204 - also known as the Final Food Traceability Rule - understand what's asked of them and what resources are available to help. What follows are some of those questions with links to resources that we hope will help smooth the way forward.
Two inspectors discuss a quality inspection in a distribution center

Get Personalized Rule 204 Guidance from a Former FDA Traceability Expert

There is no “one size fits all” approach to FSMA Rule 204 compliance. Enterprise food companies need personalized consulting to navigate the rule. That’s why iFoodDS is partnering with Andy Kennedy and Matt Regusci to launch New Era Partners, a technology-neutral advisory service.
A grocery store employee using a tablet

5 Things Grocery Retailers and Distributors May Not Know about FSMA Rule 204

Learn about nuanced parts of FSMA Rule 204 that impact grocery retailers and independent distributors.

Highlights from IFPA’s Virtual Town Hall on FSMA Rule 204

We provide highlights from IFPA's Virtual Town Hall on FSMA Rule 204. Here's what the panelists, including our own VP of Product Management, had to say.

iFoodDS’ Perspective on the Final Version of FSMA Rule 204

See how the final Rule will impact grocery retail and foodservice businesses and what you can do to start preparing for enforcement.

Are Your Suppliers Sending You the Information You Need to Comply with FSMA Rule 204?

Our survey found gaps in the information DCs are receiving from suppliers. Here's how to ensure sure you're getting everything you need.
Creating salad in a processing facility

How Processors Can Collect KDEs Efficiently

Learn about the transformation Critical Tracking Event (CTE) and how processors can collect their KDEs in the complex processing environment. It's critical to get the right information from your suppliers.
A field of lettuce

How Growers and Packer-Shippers Can Collect KDEs and Comply with FSMA Rule 204

Learn how you can comply with FSMA Rule 204 as a farm or packer-shipper. We've put together a brief guide on collecting the required KDEs.
Retailer, foodservice, distributor KDEs

A Guide to Collecting Key Data Elements as a Grocery Retailer, Foodservice Operator, or Distributor

We've put together a guide on Rule 204 for retailers, foodservice operators, and distributors. Learn how to collect your KDEs without disrupting your operations.

Thinking Differently About Food Safety and Traceability: An Interview with Former FDA Official Tom Sidebottom

We talked with former FDA official Tom Sidebottom to get his thoughts on traceability, data sharing, and the New Era of Smarter Food Safety.
An employee scans a pallet of fruit in a distribution center

4 Misconceptions About Traceability Technology

Is traceability technology a burdensome cost of compliance, or can it provide a return on investment? We’d like to present the 4 most common misconceptions we hear about traceability technology and show how it can benefit your business.
IAFP Recap

IAFP 2022 Annual Meeting Recap: Data Sharing, Building Trust, and Proactively Managing Food Safety Risks

Our team attended the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) 2022 Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was a great opportunity to connect with other professionals and learn about the latest food safety issues. Here are some key takeaways from IAFP 2022.
Produce department in a grocery store

3 Ways End-to-End Traceability Benefits Grocery Retailers

Now that Rule 204 is finalized, how will your grocery brand stand out in the marketplace? Could you leverage your traceability program for a competitive advantage? Here are 3 key benefits of end-to-end traceability.
A grocery store employee looks up information on his tablet

5 Traceability Challenges Retailers and Foodservice Operators Must Overcome

FSMA Rule 204 has raised many concerns for grocery retailers, independent distributors, and foodservice operators. Here are 5 traceability challenges.
A woman packs mangoes for shipment and checks for fruit quality

Are You Prepared for FSMA Rule 204? Here’s What You Need to Know

What are you doing to prepare for Rule 204? Have you thought about leveraging traceability for a competitive advantage? Learn more about Rule 204 and why you should start thinking beyond compliance.
world food safety day

We All Play a Role in Food Safety

This year’s theme, ‘Safe food now for a healthy tomorrow,” was designed to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, and contribute to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism, and sustainable development

Infographics and eBooks

Food Traceability List in Pictures eBook

March 21, 2023

Gain a better understanding of what items are covered by reviewing our FTL in Pictures eBook, and check out the appendix for a more comprehensive list.

What the Past Tells Us About the Future of FSMA 204

December 13, 2023

In this white paper, by Dr. Bob Whitaker, a produce safety expert and veteran, you will learn about the outbreak investigations and outcomes, and how the timelines and outcomes may have been different had FSMA 204 been in place.

Traceability Plan Infographic

August 10, 2023

The Traceability Plan is a FSMA 204 requirement for all organizations across the supply chain who manufacture, process, pack or hold foods on the Food Traceability List (FTL). Download our Traceability Plan Requirements and Sample Plan infographic to guide your organization in creating your own Traceability Plan.

FSMA 204 Traceability Solution Partner Requirements

July 31, 2023

Use our checklist to evaluate whether a solution provider can support compliance with the FDA’s Food Traceability Rule (FSMA Rule 204).

Capturing FSMA Rule 204 KDEs

October 24, 2022

You’ll need the right information from your suppliers to record your Key Data Elements (KDEs). This infographic shows you ways to get that information so you can comply with Rule 204.

FSMA Rule 204 Preparedness Checklist

October 3, 2022

The rule will be finalized in November, 2022. Many companies will be subject to the new requirements and will have just 2 years to comply. Are you prepared? Go through our brief checklist to find out.

Full Supply Chain Traceability Is the Future of Food Safety

September 23, 2022

In this eBook, we explore the connection between traceability and enhanced food safety.

FSMA Rule 204 Highlights

Under Rule 204, you’ll need to submit traceability information to the FDA in an electronic spreadsheet within 24 hours of a request.

Can you currently do this?

There are 16 fresh food categories on the Food Traceability List. Do you know if you sell any commodities subject to Rule 204?

Which of your products are on the FTL?

Depending on your role in the supply chain, you may be responsible for KDEs (Key Data Elements) associated with more than one CTE (Critical Tracking Event).

Are you currently collecting all required KDEs?

FSMA Rule 204 doesn’t mandate a specific technology for keeping traceability records. Have you thought about the best solution for your company?

Do you have the right technology in place?