Labels / Meat/seafood / PMMI Corner / Inspection/ Detection / Labeling
PMMI Corner

Opportunity in Reducing Uncertainty

Manufacturers advance track-and-trace capabilities in light of pending food safety regulations.

Jeff Barach, PMMIIn a recent study, PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, reported on the perceptions of industry stakeholders surrounding the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law in 2011. There is still much confusion and concern surrounding the legislation’s implementation and timelines, but the study outlined key areas where food and beverage manufacturers can concentrate their efforts in preparation to comply with new and upcoming rules.


Investing in Traceability

Track-and-trace capabilities could represent one of the largest costs for food processors if they need new procedures and equipment to address FSMA requirements. As the new regulations brought on by FSMA require robust reporting structures and enhanced mapping of the product supply web, manufacturers can anticipate the need for more sophisticated traceability and the interoperability of data necessary among affected manufacturers. Fortunately there are many technologies that can increase capabilities including barcodes, 2-D matrix barcodes, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags.


The Right Tools for the Job

Not all of these solutions are necessarily new. The barcode has been around for 40 years, and can still play a pivotal role in the advancement of traceability systems. 2-D matrix barcodes are similar to the classic barcode, yet are capable of carrying much more information. It is this attribute that could springboard the 2-D matrix barcode into even more widespread usage.

Similar to barcodes, RFID tags provide the same type of expanded informational advantages without the need to physically scan labels. Primarily due to current cost, RFID tags are most often utilized on bulk packages such as pallets.


Make Solutions Work Together

In addition to technologies that help track products through the supply chain, solutions that improve interoperable data from procurement computers to production machinery and warehouses are also critical to compliance with future FSMA regulations. Software solutions and protocols that increase a manufacturer’s access and ability to sort to real-time data, and create channels in which these systems work together can vastly improve the efficiency of operations, saving time and money in the event of a contamination issue – or just day-to-day.


A Destination for Innovation

Despite the potential cost of compliance for some food manufacturers, industry players widely acknowledge the benefits of FSMA. The resulting regulations will guide the food and beverage industries toward best practices that prevent, rather than manage, recalls resulting from instances of contamination. Advanced traceability capabilities will enable these companies to better plan for and address these issues.

For food and beverage professionals seeking advanced track-and-trace solutions to ensure compliance with FSMA down the road, there’s PACK EXPO International 2014 (Nov. 2-5; McCormick Place, Chicago). The show will house features as the Food Safety Summit Resource Center, sponsored by the Food Safety Summit (Booth #S-2962) where attendees can have their questions on FSMA answered by subject matter experts.

Visit to register for the show today. Registration is $30 prior to October 3, 2014 and $60 thereafter.


PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, is a trade association representing over 650 packaging and processing supply chain companies that provide a full range of packaging and processing machinery, materials, components and containers. PMMI actively brings buyers and sellers together through programs and events such as The PACK EXPO family of trade shows,, PMT Magazine, PACK EXPO Show Daily, networking events and educational programs.

PMMI organizes the PACK EXPO trade shows: PACK EXPO International, Pharma EXPO, co-located with PACK EXPO International and presented jointly with the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE); PACK EXPO Las Vegas, PACK EXPO East, EXPO PACK México and EXPO PACK Guadalajara, connecting participants in the packaging and processing supply chain with their customers around the world. Coming Up: PACK EXPO International 2014, Nov. 2-5 (McCormick Place, Chicago); Pharma EXPO, co-located with PACK EXPO International 2014; PACK EXPO East, debuting Feb. 16–18, 2015 (Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia); EXPO PACK Guadalajara 2015, March 10-12, 2015 (Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico).

Learn more about PMMI and the PACK EXPO trade shows at and



Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food and Beverage Packaging

Recent Articles by Jeffrey Barach, PhD, PMMI Consultant

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2014 Beverage Breakthroughs of the Year

Beverage packaging innovations huff, puff and blow traditional packaging down.
9/30/14 2:00 am EDT

Achieving High Speeds and Maximizing Productivity on Your Packaging Line

Increase efficiency and reduce costs by deploying high speed robotic picking on your line today.  BPA Delta style robots coupled with Cognex Vision Systems provide the fastest platform for pick and place applications.  BPA Delta Style robots are faster and reduce more human touch points than other available methods.  By utilizing a Cognex Vision System you increase quality and efficiency while reducing mechanical fixturing and labor hour costs.  BPA Delta Style Robots with Cognex Vision Systems quickly, accurately and efficiently load random oriented product into containers, wrappers or hffs machines all “on the fly” without stopping or indexing production, this leads to higher Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

Food and Beverage Packaging

FBP September 2014 cover

2014 September

Check out the September 2014 issue of Food & Beverage Packaging, with features on flexible packaging, robots in packaging, and much more!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Dairy Packaging

What dairy foods packaging trends do you see being the most popular in coming years?
View Results Poll Archive

The Food and Beverage Packaging Store

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\FBP\modified-atmosphere.gif
Modified Atmosphere and Active Packaging Technologies

Many factors are relevant in making the proper choice of food packaging material, including those related to shelf life and biodegradability.

More Products

FBP Buyer's Guide

2013 FBP Buyers Guide



Food and Beverage Packaging's Buyer's Guide provides a list of suppliers of food and beverage packaging solutions. 

Clear Seas Research

CS-OflRGBhomepage.jpgWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


 Facebook iconTwitter iconYoutube icon LinkedIn icong+icon