U.S. food safety legislation is in the works to create a national food traceability system that would help to protect consumers from foodborne illness and would enable food manufacturers to increase their responsiveness and ability to participate in the recall process. The objective of the food traceability system is to find tainted food and remove it from the shelves as quickly as possible.
If the new food safety legislation is signed into law, many participants in the food supply chain will be affected and may be required to participate in traceability technology pilots as early as next year.
The implementation of such technology raises critical concerns for those involved in the food supply chain. Congress has already heard from cattle ranchers and farmers with concerns about adopting unique identification systems, implementing new technology, and sharing data with government agencies and competitors.
Congress will have to address these important issues, and none may be more important than the technology that will be used.
True End-to-End Traceability
The problem with tainted food outbreaks today is lack of visibility in the food supply chain and our inability to quickly identify tainted food and pull it from the shelves. This visibility was supposed to have been improved by a number of traceability products on the market. In fact, these products only address parts of the problem, and most of them are proprietary in nature.