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Beyond The Produce Traceability Initiative: Solutions Needed To “Expediently And Effectively” Remove Product From The Shelves

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, November 22, 2010

We’ve written a great deal about traceability, but that is just a part of the equation. Our friends at HEB asked for some help identifying vendors who can assist with another part of the puzzle:

You have provided much valuable information on the PTI. As a retailer, we are moving to complete our portions of the PTI. We are also looking at revamping our recall system, which is used to notify our store partners, record the timeliness of responses and quantities of affected product.

While traceability is paramount in identifying where a potentially unsafe product is or where it went, the ability to expediently and effectively remove that product is no less important. Could you help solicit solution providers to identify themselves and tell us about their products?

— Richard Parker
H-E-B Quality Assurance-Scientific Affairs
San Antonio, Texas

This is actually a crucial issue. As we mentioned here many retailers and foodservice operators respond to recalls with really broad actions. A small recall can lead to everything a producer delivered that day or everything produced by a particular grower or processor being discarded. If we can target in on the removing the right product, PTI will probably pay for itself. Of course, so far, most retailers just don’t want to take a chance. It is easier and more effective to just pull everything — especially since they usually can bill back the supplier.

So, Ok, solution providers, stand up! Please let us know here what you can offer and we will pass it along to Richard and prepare a synopsis for distribution to all retailers.

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