Fields adds, “Marketplace helps source the private label suppliers that are pre-qualified to be compliant with whatever factors the retailer chooses.”
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Autoscribe Informatics, Inc., Lakeville Mass., added the Matrix Gemini Environmental Monitoring module to its portfolio in July 2016. Autoscribe Informatics offers database management applications, including laboratory information management systems and quality management systems, according to Samuel Clark, the company’s sales manager for North America.
“This newest software provides a framework to document environmental sampling procedures, results of environmental monitoring, and corrective actions taken,” Clark says. “The trending features provide an early warning of sanitation problems before they become violations.”
Clark explains that Matrix Gemini provides a complete historical record of facilities’ testing. “If there is a problem, the system demonstrates when it started to occur and what was done to correct the issue,” he relates “The complete audit history of all testing clarifies early signs of deteriorating sanitation and serves as a proactive inspection regime to avoid problems in the first place.”
Matrix Gemini’s graphical interface allows for specifying sampling point locations and defining how often samples should be taken from those points, Clark adds.
Touting benefits, Clark says Matrix Gemini encapsulates food safety/food sanitation monitoring best practices; proves FSMA/HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) food safety compliance and Current Good Manufacturing Practices requirements; and links sampling point locations, test results, and corrective actions taken. “Moreover, the software tracks samples and stores results, with complete version control, meaning keeping track of every change to a file over time,” he says. “Trending analysis of results allows preventive actions and logs food safety actions with a complete audit trail. And if sample analysis is done by a third-party contract laboratory, the production facilities can remotely log in to Matrix Gemini to see results from the laboratory and act on them quickly.”
In November 2016, Varcode, Ltd., Ra’anana, Israel, launched commercially what it calls its signature technology, the FreshCode temperature monitoring solution. Varcode bills itself as a global innovator in cold chain monitoring.
FreshCode is a patented smart barcode recorder that captures temperature abuse throughout the cold chain, says Aaron Boyll, president and CEO of Varcode North America, St. Louis, Mo.
“The recorder can be read by any smartphone via our free app or any standard barcode scanner,” Boyll relates. “The smart barcode recorder indicates if a product exceeded its threshold temperature for multiple timeframes, and can monitor for up to two years with no on-board power needed.”
Boyll says FreshCode recorders can be manufactured to the time-temperature specifications of customers’ specific cold chains. “Threshold temperatures range from -4 degrees Fahrenheit to 99 degrees Fahrenheit,” he elaborates. “Cumulative time and status intervals range from 10 minutes to 48 hours.”
Minimal training and no special equipment purchases are required to use FreshCode, Boyll emphasizes. “This low-cost solution includes a cloud-based system that enables fast and easy data analysis and decision making,” he says. “FreshCode is customizable to fit each cold chain, supporting HACCP plans with data and records, providing real-time alerts to management, maintaining permanent electronic records, and interfacing smoothly with legacy information technology systems. Moreover, it works easily across multiple partners and players in the cold chain, including food manufacturers, third-party logistics providers, wholesalers, and retailers.”
White Labs, San Diego, Calif., a purveyor of liquid yeast and enzymes for commercial and home brewing of beer, started using FreshCode in February 2017. “We ship products in quantities of 500 milliliters to 20 liters throughout North America and globally, and they need to stay cold throughout transport,” says Neva Parker, the company’s vice president of operations. “So we worked with Varcode to determine the optimum temperature range for shipping and we are soon placing, at no extra charge, a FreshCode barcode recorder in each package, some 1,500 boxes per week.”