In recent years, cases of food poisoning and cases of BSE and avian flu together with other nutritional risks, in developed as well as developing countries, have given reason for norms for foodstuffs capable of protecting public health and reducing the negative social and economic effect of the above mentioned phenomena.
In as much as risks to nutritional safety can embroil the production process in each and every one of its parts, control and communication during the process are essential factors. A weak link in a chain can cause a serious hazard for consumers and have serious repercussions for suppliers. Therefore, nutritional safety is a responsibility common to all involved. Retraceability enables an organisation to document and/or identify a product by means of the operations necessary for the production, for the elaboration, for the distribution and for the handling of foodstuffs from the first phase until consumption. Thus, it can facilitate the identification of causes of nonconformity with a product and form the premises of a certain and effective withdrawal from the market. Other than considerations of public health, this new norm presents further advantages in the social and economic environment.