The use of a new ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standard on the traceability of finfish products will help improve food safety by supplying stakeholders throughout the supply chain with accurate information about the origin and nature of these products.
Finfish constitute an important part of the modern food industry, as we consume more and more products coming from the four corners of the globe. But fish, in particular, may be caught thousands of kilometers from their place of consumption.
During the past decade, several food crises have seriously affected many countries. Following the outbreak, the concept of traceability of food products has become a matter of special interest to policy makers and scientists.
“ISO 12875:2011, Traceability of finfish products – Specification on the information to be recorded in captured finfish distribution chains,” specifies the information to be recorded in marine-captured finfish supply chains in order to establish traceability.
It specifies how traded fishery products are to be identified, and the information to be generated and held on those products by each of the food businesses that physically trade them through the distribution chains. The standard deals with the distribution for human consumption of marine-captured finfish and their products, from catch through to retailers or caterers.
The ISO definition of traceability concerns the ability to trace the history, application and location of that which is under consideration, and for products this can include the origin of materials and parts, the processing history and the distribution and location of the product after delivery. Traceability includes not only the principal requirement to be able to physically trace products through the distribution chain, from origin to destination, but also to be able to provide information on what they are made of and what has happened to them. These further aspects of traceability are important in relation to food safety, quality and labeling.
For more information, visit www.iso.org.