This author loves all kinds of Salami. Is it traceable?

January 25th, 2010

I grew up in the Boston area where we had a very large Italian population particularly in an area known as the North End. It was working at the Mira Mar (Look at the Sea) when I discovered the wonders of top quality Salami.

Rose said, ?toughie (their nick name for me) get out of the Salami?. I had this bad habit of reaching in the refrigerator (possible contamination) and taking 5 or 6 slices that had been cut in half for pizza and stuffing them in my mouth all at once. The Salami was either Genoa or Volpi or some other top quality brand. I did not even know where it came from and I?m sure that neither Rose nor Margaret (both from Italy) the proprietors could trace it either.

Today I live in Arizona. We have a few good Italian eateries here but not a very large Italian community. I was reading the Arizona Republic today when an article jumped out at me titled R.I. Company recalls salami. This article was attributed to the Associated Press. Being as Rhode Island is very close to Boston and also has a great Italian section called Federal Hill and the subject was salami I read on. As you are aware, my most recent post was also on product safety and traceability, titled Procurement Professionals can aid in product safety adherence.

The article went on to say that a Rhode Island meat company had recalled 1.24 million pounds of pepper coated salami after month?s long investigation of a salmonella outbreak that sickened 184 people in 38 states by comparing shopping receipts of those who got sick. This certainly supports one forward and one back accountability from a retailer?s perspective but this author is not sure that the intention of the rule is to have to chase down receipts which is extremely time consuming, costly and a strategy that provides the possibility of an extremely limited sample.

The definition of traceability according to Wikipedia refers to the completeness of the information about every step in a process chain. Traceability is the ability to verify the history, location, or application of an item by means of documented recorded identification. Doing this systematically is where the retail industry needs to be.

This author has discussed this in numerous previous posts. One of my favorites is from September of 2008 titled Traceability-also-requires-sensibility-if-you-want-a-safe-supply-chain.? So what can you do as a retailer? Begin by asking your e-procurement solutions provider how they address traceability with their tools.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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