The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently rolled out additional tools and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) to inform stakeholders about Section 204 of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA 204), also known as the Food Traceability Final Rule, and help aid entities with compliance.

The Food Traceability Rule is designed to facilitate faster identification and rapid removal of potentially contaminated food from the market, resulting in fewer foodborne illnesses and deaths. Foods subject to the final rule’s requirements appear on the Food Traceability List (FTL).

The new resources, which can be found on FDA’s traceability webpage, include:

  • A landing page about traceability lot codes, including examples of how Key Data Elements (KDEs) could appear on invoices and bills of lading
  • A video highlighting some technological components of product tracing systems
  • Examples of a traceability plan
  • New FAQs
  • New supply chain examples for deli salads
  • Information on how to apply for a waiver or exemption, if eligible.

The compliance date for all entities subject to the Food Traceability Final Rule is January 20, 2026. Routine inspections under the Food Traceability Final Rule will not begin until 2027, to give covered entities additional time to work together and ensure that traceability information is being maintained and shared within supply chains per the requirements of the rule.