Auditors want to know that a baking or snack company has information on its ingredients and products throughout the entire supply chain in case of a recall.

“Lot tracking is critical to allow the company to have a clear understanding of what ingredients are used to make the product and have the ability to trace sources of ingredients used in batches,” said Don Goshert, vice-president and general manager, Sterling Systems & Controls. “Flexibility to access the system’s data to search by lot, date, batch as well as other information is key.”

Sterling’s automatic and semi-automatic batching control systems offer raw ingredient validation and lot tracking in addition to lot tracking for completed batches.

“With integrated barcode readers or radio-frequency identification the ingredients can be scanned prior to being introduced to the mixer to confirm the ingredients are correct and the weight is proper,” Mr. Goshert said. “The systems can also offer first-in, first-out inventory features as well as quality control to ensure the right ingredients are being used by date of the product and approved.”

International Delights tracks its products forward and backward.

“We test our recall program to be able to account for 100% of all ingredients, packaging materials and finished products,” said Jesse Yachouh, director of quality control and food safety, International Delights.

Mr. Yachouh follows recall emails from the Food and Drug Administration very carefully because imported or domestic ingredients may be relevant to the company directly or indirectly.

The Product Recipe Ingredient Management Software from Focus Works, Inc., traces ingredients from receiving to shipping. Additionally, the technology knows where each ingredient or product was shipped and can recall it in minutes.

“Auditors highlight conducting a mock trace exercise during the audit,” noted Dominic DeBlasio, vice-president of quality assurance and food safety, Hearthside Food Solutions. “Criteria is based on speed and accuracy. Traceability is critically important in order to verify recall readiness in the event of an ingredient recall.”

This article is an excerpt from the March 2019 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on audits, click here.