Aquaculture North America

Understanding FSMA Traceability Standards

February 23, 2023
By Maryam Farag

Brought to you by BlueTrace

Photo: BlueTrace.

In November 2022, the FDA finalized the Traceability Requirements for Certain Foods, a component of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Their objective is laudable: “faster identification and rapid removal of potentially contaminated food from the market, resulting in fewer foodborne illnesses and/or deaths.” But complying will take time and energy.

The new rules cover most fresh foods, including almost all seafood products.

Firms will be required to supply key information in a “sortable spreadsheet” within 24 hours of request. The records must cover Critical Tracking Events (such as harvesting, shipping, receiving, and processing) and required Key Data Elements (certifications, harvest dates, locations, receiving/shipping times, temperatures, etc.).

Photo: BlueTrace.

These records must be linked with a Traceability Lot Code (TLC) that does not change unless the product is transformed. TLCs should be assigned by either the First Land Based Receiver or a Processor who is Transforming the product.


The rule will be implemented over the next three years — but best to start planning now.

Bottom line is you need to:

  • Track where all your seafood came from and where it went at a granular level.
  • Maintain a digital record of all tracked seafood that includes KDEs you may not capture today.
  • Create a unique TLC that travels with the product.

Need help? BlueTrace offers an affordable solution on your phone that satisfies these requirements and works with existing systems — plus makes your team more efficient. Visit to learn more and request a demo.

To learn more, please visit

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