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Wednesday, 19 August 2020 21:07

Strengthening Food Safety With Blockchain Technology

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Food-borne illnesses are a preventable and under-reported public health problem. Each year food-borne illnesses sicken 48 million Americans (approximately 17% of people in the United States) and lead to 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. These illnesses are a burden on public health and contribute significantly to the cost of health care. Food hazards, including germs and chemical contaminants, can enter the food supply at any point from farm to table. Most of these hazards cannot be detected in food when it is purchased or consumed.

A critical part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s mission is safeguarding the human and animal food supply, helping to ensure that food is not contaminated at any point during its journey along the supply chain. 

Maintaining food safety has become unconditional when it comes to food trade and customer  demand.  The  food  put  on the  market  has  to  be  of  good  quality and  safe  for consumption, as well as not be a source of disease and infection. That being said, the food and beverage industry face a host of food safety challenges, ranging from lack of traceability and transparency, to compliance and recall prevention; and e-commerce giants and shifting consumer expectations are challenging the industry to be more agile and transparent than ever before.

Significant growth in the recent number of food safety incidents and recalls, an increase in media scrutiny and evolving regulatory requirements have placed increasing responsibilities on food safety to regain consumer trust by delivering consistently high-quality food across the complex supply chain, while meeting the various regulatory requirements.

When it comes to food traceability, many businesses are stuck in a past where each segment in the food system is responsible for keeping track of food, taking one step forward to identify where the food has gone and one step back to identify the source. And, it’s largely done on paper. Moreover, changes in food production and supply chains are becoming more complex, providing more opportunities for tampering and difficulties in track and trace. Blockchain makes a supply chain more transparent at an all-new level, especially when it comes to food safety.

Blockchain technology allows quick and easy verification of history, location, and status of a particular food product. Farm origination details such as batch numbers, storage temperatures, shipping details, expiry dates, and factory and processing data can be digitally recorded on the blockchain. End-to-end traceability would improve the efficiency of the food supply chain. Data would be digitally entered on a blockchain and hence, everyone with access to the blockchain can access the data. 

As the need for blockchain technology becomes more pervasive across industries such as food and beverage, it is becoming more apparent that systems and processes will involve communication and integration with multiple blockchain networks and technologies. BlockSpaces has created BlockSpaces ConnectTM, a system designed to serve as an integrated message bus for blockchain-based applications and their underlying blockchain technologies and platforms while, client-side, hiding the technical complexities associated with integrating the various blockchain networks.

When you are working to contain a case of Salmonella or other food-borne diseases,  every second counts. Having a secure blockchain record to reference can make it easier not only to recall the exact cases, lots, and batches that are likely to be contaminated, but to also pinpoint the exact source of the incident so that it can be resolved. Blockchain technology is without a doubt a major player for strengthening food safety standards across the United States.

To learn more about BlockSpaces Connect, please visit our website at https://blockspaces.io/platform
Read 304 times Last modified on Monday, 14 September 2020 21:04
Dana Tate

Dana Tate is a Content, Research & Grant Specialist at BlockSpaces in Tampa, FL. As a summa cum laude alumni of the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health, she obtained her B.S. in Public Health with minors in Health Education and Biomedical Sciences, and is a current Masters of Public Health candidate. She is also a certified health and wellness coach. Her writing is inspired by her passion to improve the current healthcare system through patient education and advocacy, including how blockchain technology and its potential application can transform healthcare, government, agriculture, and other industries. You can find Dana on Linkedin here.

BlockSpaces is dedicated to accelerating enterprise blockchain adoption. Combining advisory, technical functionality, and industry focused support with our core platform, BlockSpaces Connect™, we provide business value to an ecosystem of client innovators.

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