Supply Chain Management

FSMA 204 Resources

The FDA’s FSMA 204 Final Food Traceability Rule is in effect now and will start to be enforced on January 20, 2026. This regulation will require all companies across the supply chain, from growers to retailers and foodservice operators, to track and share data that they have never tracked or shared before. 

View the Final Rule

The FSMA Final Rule is aligned with the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI). All of the Key Data Elements required to be captured, stored and or shared in the Final Rule are incorporated into PTI. The only new Key Data Element is the Traceability Lot Code Source. 

The Produce Traceability Initiative created the following resources to assist with the implementation of FSMA 204:


PTI FSMA 204 Implementation Guidance

This guideline by the PTI FSMA Working Group aids in implementing the FSMA Final Rule on Traceability Records for Specific Foods.

PTI FSMA 204 Electronic Sortable Spreadsheet Templates

The Final Rule requires that "Firms must provide an electronic sortable spreadsheet containing information FDA requests on CTEs involving particular FTL foods for the date ranges or traceability lot codes specified in our request." The following spreadsheets are a useful tool to determine specific requirements by role.

PTI FSMA 204 Traceability Lot Code Source and Reference Guidance

This guidance, from the PTI FSMA Working Group, aids in understanding Traceability Lot Code (TLC) Source and Source Reference.

Why and How to Use EDI 856 Advance Ship Notice/Manifest Transaction

This document outlines EDI Advance Ship Notice (ASN) basics, its implementation benefits, and its capability to capture GTIN and Batch/Lot Numbers using a single pallet barcode.

shipping containers with global overlay

IFPA 2023 FSMA 204 Best Practices

Best practices on how companies can become compliant with the new regulations for FDA's FSMA 204 Final Food Traceability Rule.

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FSMA 204 applies to all fresh produce items on the Food Traceability List, including imported product from outside the United States. The Final Rule applies to persons (not facilities) who manufacture, process, pack or hold foods that appear on the Food Traceability List or foods that contain a listed food as an ingredient.

Please note that it is expected that the vast majority of buyers will require the Key Data Elements to be shared with them for ALL fresh produce items, not just those items on the FDA Food Traceability List. 

The following fresh produce items are included on the Food Traceability List: fresh cucumbers, fresh herbs, fresh leafy greens (including fresh cut leafy greens), fresh melons, fresh peppers, fresh sprouts, fresh tomatoes, fresh tropical tree fruits, all fresh cut fruits, all fresh cut vegetables, ready-to-eat deli salads as well as some seafood, eggs and nut butters.

The traceability lot code assigned at the time of initial packing must be captured, stored and shared through the supply chain from packing all the way to a retail store or foodservice operation/restaurant. As well, the traceability lot code source consisting of the name, address and phone number of the location that the food was packed must be captured, stored and shared through the supply chain from packing to a retail store or food service operation/restaurant.

A common question is “Does FSMA 204 apply to my company?” There are full and partial exemptions for certain entities. FDA have created a tool to determine if your company is exempt.

The Final Rule requires entities to send an electronic sortable spreadsheet to FDA within 24 hours of the FDA notifying them that they are involved in a traceback investigation. The Produce Traceability Initiative volunteer working groups have created a PTI FSMA 204 implementation Guidance Document to assist industry members in complying with FSMA 204 and creating the electronic sortable spreadsheets to send to FDA. They have created sample spreadsheets for each role in the supply chain.

FSMA 204 is applicable to foods listed on the FTL only. However, the major buyers in the U.S. intend to require the same data set for all produce items received. For items not on the Food Traceability List, the Traceability Lot Code Source could be the corporate office contact information rather than the location where the product was packed.

A description of the procedures you use to maintain the required records, including the format and location of the records.

A description of the procedures you use to identify foods on the FTL that you manufacture, process, pack, or hold and how you assign traceability lot codes to foods on the FTL, if applicable.

A description of how you assign traceability lot codes.

A statement identifying a point of contact for questions regarding your traceability plan and records.

If you grow or raise a food on the FTL (other than eggs), a farm map showing the areas in which you grow or raise such foods, including the location and name of each field (or other growing area) in which you grow a food on the FTL, including geographic coordinates and any other information needed to identify the location of each field or growing area.

You must update your traceability plan as needed to ensure that the information reflects your current practices and to ensure you are compliant with the rule. As well, you must retain your previous traceability plan for two years after you update the plan.

All records required under the rule must be maintained for 2 years from the date they were created and be made available to FDA within 24 hours of a request from FDA via phone, in writing or in person.

Offsite storage of the records is permissible, provided the records can be made available to an FDA representative no later than 24 hours after a request. Electronic records are considered onsite if they are accessible from an onsite location. Electronic records may include electronic links. Records also can be required to be provided in English within a reasonable time if they are maintained in a language other than English. Covered entities may enter into agreements with individuals or firms to create and keep the records required by the rule on their behalf. There is no requirement to create duplicate records or maintain information in a single set.

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