What is a lot number?

A lot number is a tracking system that links the organic product back to the farmer or incoming ingredient. The lot numbering system provides critical information regarding the origin of the products being used by processors/handlers, especially in the age of increased food safety requirements.

Both incoming and outgoing products should include lot numbers to allow both recall and ingredient tracking throughout the system. Common outgoing lot numbers include production dates, roasting or best by dates, and sequential numbering systems.

  • Outgoing lot numbers should be linked to production logs or batch sheets.
  • Production logs or batch sheets should link to incoming ingredients through incoming ingredient lot numbers.
  • Incoming ingredient lot numbers may be created by the manufacturer and listed on the package, or you may need to develop your own system.
  • Incoming ingredient lot numbers should link to packing slips, BOL, PO, or other documents associated with incoming ingredients. If lot numbers are not listed on the documentation, you must maintain a record that links lot numbers to the original packing slip, BOL, or PO.