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A simulated recall study in five major food sectors

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Purpose ‐ This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of current traceability systems in five food sectors: dairy, fish, red meat, fruit and vegetable, and grain. Products were bought within Norway, with national and international origins. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The method used structured interviews and questionnaires at each link in the production and supply chain of 30 products in order to discover the ability to identify the origin of product, the size of batches used during production, the potential product and process information available and the estimated time of recall in an emergency situation. Findings ‐ The results showed that it was possible to trace 53 percent of the products bought through their supply chains to their origin. The results demonstrated that mixing transformations create challenges for traceability that are more severe than other types of transformations. Company motivation is an important factor in creating the conditions for a successful tracing event. Social implications ‐ The study presents findings that can be used by the food producing industry and regulators that will aid in improving the ability to track and trace food effectively. This will aid the food producing industry in providing society with better food information so that consumers can make informed choices. Originality/value ‐ This study presents data on multi sector traceability, which is not only valuable because of its uniqueness, but also because of the possibility to use this in future studies for comparison and measurement of progress. This study is highly valuable to food producing industries, regulators and researchers as it presents new and unique data, regarding recall times and sector specific challenges.
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Keywords: Food; Food products; Norway; Product recall; Simulated recall; Traceability; Tracing; Tracking

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-06-29

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