The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has updated its Food Traceability FAQ to provide additional information about the FDA’s Product Tracing System and explain how the agency intends to conduct initial inspections beginning in 2027.

The Food Traceability Final Rule was published in November 2022, establishing traceability recordkeeping requirements, beyond those in previously existing regulations, for persons who manufacture, process, pack, or hold foods included on the Food Traceability List (FTL). The new program was designed to facilitate faster identification and rapid removal of potentially contaminated food from the market, resulting in fewer foodborne illnesses and/or deaths.

Understanding that this rule establishes new requirements, the FDA has committed to developing additional resources and offering technical assistance to help stakeholders come into compliance. The agency also established January 20, 2026, as the compliance date to give those subject to the rule time to come into compliance. The Agency plans to take an “educate while we regulate” approach to support widespread, successful compliance as was done for other FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules.  Additionally, the FDA does not intend to begin routine inspections until 2027.  During this time, the FDA will be working with regulatory and other partners to advance training and other educational opportunities.

As a reminder, the FDA’sFSMA Technical Assistance Networkcontinues to serve as a central source of information for questions related to the FSMA rules, programs, and implementation strategies. Any stakeholder that has questions about complying with the Food Traceability Rule should visit the Network’s page to review FAQs or to submit their questions to the FDA.