New barcodes to increase traceability

- Last updated on GMT

MAP80 Systems, a Prisym Group company, has included RSS (reduced
space symbology) barcodes in its labelling and identification
software. The aim is to help manufacturers prepare for EU
legislation on food traceability coming into force in January 2005.

The new legislation means that food traceability through the supply chain is going to become a legal responsibility. Under the new laws, food producers must be able to identify products by batch, lot or consignment numbers and traceability of the product must be possible at all stages of production, processing and distribution.

This means food businesses will have to be able to identify every supplier of food, feed, a food producing animal or any substance incorporated into their food/feed products.

RSS technology has been developed as a means of encoding more information into a smaller space. The technology expands on the current EAN.UCC numbering system by adding a packaging designator to create a GTIN (Global Trade Identification Number). And because RSS barcodes are based on the UCC/EAN system they are easily implemented and are likely to become widespread very quickly.

"As legislation becomes ever complex we are constantly working to enhance the products we offer to assist our customers with compliance,"​ said Prisym Group chief executive Mick Daw. "We know that compliance in many different industries requires an increasing amount of information on labels and traceability information needs to be accessible."

Daw believes that older labelling systems may not provide the infrastructure needed to manage the level of detailed information on labels required by the impending EU legislation. In addition, labelling software capable of providing secure files for recording traceability records is becoming increasingly used.

The new labelling systems currently being developed by companies such as Map80 Systems​ will be able to link up to track and trace software, and will be capable of recording vital traceability information. This will provide manufacturers with a real time view of asset location through the production, processing, distribution process.

With a year to go before the legislation comes into force, more and more food producers and processors are using packaging and labelling systems that utilise RSS technology.

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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