The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) defines a new activity for the FDA - to establish science-based methods for preventing foodborne disease.Today,the FDAonly gets heavilyinvolved afteran outbreak ofillness is linked tofoodborned causes. Food inspections are run by the US Department of Agriculture under guidelines established by a combination of the FDA, the CDC and the EPA.
Members of the fresh food industryrecognized the need for a better way to isolate and identify the cause of disease outbreaks asfar back as 2006.Traceability projects were initiated by the Fresh ProduceMarketingAssociationin partnership with the Canadian Produce Marketing Association. Thejoint effort focused first onestablishingconsistent data standards forthe records that enablequick and efficient tracing of the source for food contaminations when they occur.
Foodborne bacterial pathogenscause a high percentage of the illnesses experienced annuallylinked to contaminatedfood. If a way could be found that greatly reduced these "preventable disease" instances, it would benefit the US economy, the food industry and especially all the people that avoided illness caused by eating food that was considered to be "safe".
It is hard to imagine an opportunity that could bemore beneficial to all parties involved than that of preventing many of the nearly 48 Million illnesses which occur every year in the US due to food that poisonsconsumers.
RFID, combined with simple temperature sensors, just may prove to be the key that unlocks this doorway to a safer and healthier food supply for everyone - not just in the US, but globally.
ABI Research believes the potential to reduce/eliminate foodborne disease isaterrific way to fully exploit the potential of RFID for the betterment of everyone. RFID systems can provide reliable tracking information, gather and store data automatically while the food is in transit, keep the data secure, deliver all data and location information through a wireless automatic data acquisition system and substantially reduce the amount of food that has to be thrown away due to spoilage. So, what is preventing massive adoption of RFID temperature monitoring by the food industry?