What is food traceability?
Food traceability allows us to see the specific path — and ownership — of food from the beginning of its supply chain journey until it ends up at the customer location. Traceability is a key factor in providing accurate, real-time information to customers in terms of where the product has been, how it got to them, and what happened to it along the way.
Why is it important?
Many nations require compliance with food safety laws, and many have specific regulations describing traceability requirements for food products. These regulations often require not just the supplier, but all supply chain actors to provide data about the location, provenance and conditions of these products.
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has proposed establishing additional traceability record-keeping beyond what is already required as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This additional rule, docket FDA-2014-N-0053, applies to any company that deals with products on the FDA’s Food Traceability List.
Quick action in a recall
The more quickly the food supply chain can react to food safety, contaminant or fraud issues, the more quickly it can address these issues. Quick action can keep consumers from becoming ill, or worse. It can also reduce costs, by preventing bad food from ever ending up on retail shelves or in restaurants in the first place.
How do we do it?
A “transparent path” of provenance
Gathering food production and supply chain data is often tedious, expensive and sometimes manual work. Many existing traceability systems rely on manual data entry. This introduces risk through miskeyed data, human error, or translation of paper records to electronic.
The Transparent Path platform automatically generates this data record for each of your shipments, using continuously connected IoT sensors that record a steady stream of location and conditions data. Our customers simply enter basic shipment details into our platform, attach a sensor and assign it to the shipment, and the automated data entry begins.
Is end-to-end traceability always possible?
Connectivity at sea
While many ships have transponders showing their location and movement, data connections that might support continuously connected sensors are expensive — and limited. New seafood regulations will require fishing boats to show specifically where product was caught, in order to prove the legality of the product.
Transparent Path sensors collect GPS and conditions data while at sea – and upload that data to our platform when sensors are in range of cellular networks (for example, near ports). New technologies that will allow data transmission over satellite and TV broadcast spectrums will be available within months, solving this issue.
Connectivity in flight
Two issues affect air cargo traceability. First, the lack of connectivity as most electronic devices that can transmit a signal must be powered off during take-off and landing. We address this issue in the same way we do for ocean shipments: our devices continuously gather environmental data at timed intervals, and reconnect when within the range of a cellular data connection.
Batteries can also be an issue. Most airlines prohibit the use of active lithium-ion batteries while in flight, due to fire risk. We utilize sensors with lithium-ion alternatives that are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration for airborne travel.
See how Transparent Path provides key traceability data
Contact our management team to set up an online demonstration of the Transparent Path platform.