Due Diligence and traceability

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Due diligence is a term that has various interpretation since it has not been properly defined in court. However, in food industry, the main idea of due diligence is to increase legal responsibility on food handling. Thus, all stakeholders in food supply chain need to provide evidence of due diligence in order to guarantee the safeness of the food.

One important aspect of due diligence is tracing. According to [1], tracing can be defined as a reverse process of reconstructed the history of a product through the important information recorded in each step of the supply chain. Tracing is important in food supply chain because authorized parties can use it as a tool to comply with legislation and ultimately achieve food safety requirement. By doing tracing in food product, we can identifying the origin of the product, its ingredients, its processes, and potential fraud/risk during the production until the consumption. Many food fraud cases flourished in the past because the absent of traceability.

In Food Safety Authority, where sampling food is their job, it is recommended that sampling food is done based on scientific and/or economic justification. Instead of randomly sampling food on market, scientific justification should be a better concept to decide where and when the sampling should be taken. Therefore, the need of a framework incorporated with risk analysis should be a scientific rationale for food safety regulation.

Society, in particular food consumers, can benefit from due diligence as well. By complying due diligence, their trust of the food they consume is increased. An example of consumers’ trust would be when the horse meat scandal happened in 2013. After that, 73\% people felt less confident in the safety of processed meat and 67\% people intended to buy less due to lack of trust [2]. Failing to identify the cause or the origin problem of horse meat scandal has created mass panic and destroyed supermarket reputation. By complying due diligence, the horse meat scandal could have been avoided at the first place.

references:
[1] T. Pizzutia, G. Mirabellia, M. A. Sanz-Bobi, and F. Gomz-Gonzalz, “Food track & trace ontology for helping the food traceability control,” Journal of Food Engineering, 2014.
[2] J. Crane and G. Brown, “FSA consumer attitudes to towards the horse meat contamination issue,” Harris Interactive, Survey, Feb. 2013.

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