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Food businesses must be able to trace their food one step back and one step forward according to Article 18 of the General Food Law.

Traceability is a risk-management tool, which allows food businesses and competent authorities in EU member states to withdraw or recall products, which have been identified as unsafe. The competent authorities must be able to track any food through all stages of production, processing and distribution in order to prevent unsafe foods from reaching the consumers.

The essence of the requirements in Article 18 is that each food business must know who they get their ingredients from and who they sell their products to, unless they are the final consumers. Food businesses are required to document the names and addresses of the supplier and customer in each case, as well as the nature of the product and date of delivery according to the guidance document. In addition they are encouraged to keep information on the volume or quantity of a product, the batch number, and a more detailed description of the product, such as whether it is raw or processed.

More information

The General Food Law: