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Food companies and retailers should be aware of new traceability rules found in EU Regulation 178/2002. The regulation lays down the general principles and requirements of European food law. These rules will apply throughout the European Union as of 1 January, 2005. The traceability of food and ingredients must now take place at all stages of production, processing and distribution in the food chain, from farm to fork. There are no derogations from these obligations for any individual sectors such as SMEs or small local producers. These obligations have come about as a result of the BSE and Dioxin contamination food safety crises.

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