Product Tracebacks

Issues

Product Tracebacks

The Breakdown

A product traceback is an investigation conducted by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) or the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) upon discovery of a contaminated food, to locate and isolate the source of contamination.

Previous efforts to increase product trace back efforts, effectiveness, and awareness include:

  • April 2009: The Safe Food Coalition (of which Stop Foodborne Illness is a member) sent a letter to the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recommending that they trace meat contamination back to the source and remove all of the affected product at once.
  • January 2010: Consumer groups urge the USDA and the FDA to change its meat-tracing activities upon finding evidence of contamination.

Our Position

• Effective, quick tracebacks are essential to prevent additional contaminated products from reaching consumers. Upon discovery of an adulterated product in commerce, traceback investigations (and traceforward when necessary) must commence immediately.

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