Carlsberg today announced that it is has a product recall plan to bring back 500,000 bottles of beer due to faulty bottles. Only a certain batch is affected, but how can they track where they are now without recalling all Tuborg bottles or beer?
1. When production occurs, manufacturers with full traceability can track it from 'field to fork' (metaphorically speaking). This means if liqued and bottles from 2 suppliers are mixed to produce one batch of bottled drink, this is recorded in an inventory management system and production management system. So in future, when a complaint comes in, the manufacturer can check that batch number and know exactly what went in and where they have been shipped.
2. It is not possible to track the person who actually drank the beer unless for example Tesco could tie up batch numbers with Clubcard sales - tricky and highly unlikely. So a product recall plan stretches as far as where the Tuborg was shipped to, but that's it.
3. The suppliers of the bottles hopefully have a product recall plan as they may have sold the same bottle to multiple customers. They aslo need to know which batch need to be recalled rather than every bottle of that product part number. An inventory management software system would store this data from the final barcode (below) scanned when items are picked to despatch.
Author: Jonathan Bellwood