Recap and Next Steps – Final Post of the Track-and-Trace Blog Series

(This is the fifth and final blog in a five-part series of posts related to progress on the Food Safety Modernization Act and the importance of track-and-trace.)

A Quick Recap…

In our previous posts around the Track and Trace series, we have spotlighted the benefits of a uniform and comprehensive cold chain solution from grower to grocer.

We have shown that temperature monitoring tags on produce throughout the cold chain results in better inventory management and maximization of shelf life. Affordable, reusable temperature monitoring tags can be read without unpacking the pallets or containers thus requiring no additional changes to produce handling. Additionally, with on-board memory functionality, the tags store thousands of temperature data measurements – as well as waypoint and other data – that can quickly be accessed and used as the basis for real-time acceptance criteria or shipping prioritization based on FEFO inventory management. This seamless access to historical data ensures a holistic view of the cold chain system, with easily identifiable breaks and how best to correct them to optimize the cold chain and drive down transport costs.

We also have demonstrated the value of up-to-the-minute data access. Utilizing machine-to-machine (M2M) technology gets pallet-level produce temperature monitoring data into the hands of decision makers’ in near real-time. By linking RFID temperature sensor tags to the Internet via cellular backhaul, automated or person-guided decisions further enhance cold chain optimization. For example, in-pallet temperature tags set to monitor each pallet every 15 minutes in a shipment of strawberries heading from California’s Salinas Valley to Chicago by truck note a 4° rise in the temperature of some of the pallets in central Nevada. That information is sent immediately to the distributor who then can recalculate the shelf life and instruct the driver to divert the shipment to Salt Lake City to ensure produce has sufficient remaining shelf life, which, of course, ties back to profit goals. The result is a system where decision making can be made in real-time to maximize shelf life, improve quality and increase revenues.

So What’s Next?

With increased global food interdependence and a global consumer base, the food processing industry ecosystem is continuing its rapid evolution. In this intensely competitive environment, brands must manage increased consumer scrutiny of food quality as well as heightened awareness of food born hazard prevention. The food industry has responded creating roles like “Chief Safety Officer” or “Chief Hygiene Officer” to provide oversight and accountability in guaranteeing food safety for consumers and ensuring FDA/USDA/HACCP and, most recently, the Food Safety Modernization Act requirements have been met by the business.

The food processing industry is adopting technology-based solutions like ERP, MES, RFID, Barcode, and EDI to manage its supply chain operations and adapt to the current industry-wide demands. These systems provide tremendous volumes of relevant information, thus tasking CSOs with managing both ongoing regulatory requirements as well as preventive measures mitigating food safety risks. It’s crucial that CSOs have accurate, timely information, and SAP BOBJ is a key reporting and analytics tool for this very need. SAP BOBJ allows CSOs to build a dashboard that will meet information needs in a desired format providing data access on-demand from multiple sources in multiple formats. Below are requirements supported by SAP BOBJ as part of a sample FSAD (food safety analytics dashboard).

  • Compliance to HACCP/FDA
  • Preparedness for FDA inspection
  • Raid response in the event of product recall
  • Track and traceability
  • Source for alerts ,reporting and analytics to CXO level around food safety
  • Single source of information across the supply chain

As food value chain complexity increases, proactive food safety management is becoming more and more essential. Noncompliance to food safety norms not only will result in financial losses, but also the erosion of consumer trust and brand equity. itelligence’s SAP-based one-stop solution driven by best business practices for food and CPG industries meets the needs of the food producers and processors in the agriculture, meat, poultry, fruit and vegetable, egg, dairy, and cheese industries, to name a few.

If your business is interested in learning more on how to respond to the changing landscape of the food processing industry, please contact itelligence. Some potential areas of enhancement to consider are outlined below. We look forward to hearing from you!

  • Meet the new or additional requirements of Food Safety Modernization Act
  • Provide a solution by collaborating with RFID based solutions for improving tracking and traceability
  • Build a tool set like FSAD to help the food processors to ensure ongoing food safety

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