Tuesday, February 25, 2020

FDA to Adopt Blockchain Technology in Tracking Contaminated Food Items

Grace Joseph
Freelance Writer, Blogger, and Crypto Enthusiast. Studied Computer Science in University and Undergoing a Masters Degree Programme in Computer Engineering Contact@ reigngracia@gmail.com

With the recent outbreak of E.coli in romaine lettuce, the US food and drugs administration has found it necessary to use Blockchain technology in tracking food. This platform is able to trace the sources of food items right from when they are harvested from the farm to when they’re being processed and sold in Grocery stores.

E.coli Contaminates Food Item in the US

E.coli is a germ that contaminated lettuces and based on records, about 48 people in 12 US states were affected by food contamination. It took the national agency weeks to discover the source of the problem. Therefore, it brings a need for a more efficient and faster means of tracking contaminated food sources.

This is because if foods are traced on time, the agency can easily issue a mandatory recall of a particular brand from stores. Moreover, people will be informed on time on the foodstuff to stay away from in the case of an outbreak. That being so, problems that would’ve arisen will be averted on time.

Difficulty in Tracing the Sources of Food Items

Dr. Laura Gieraltowski, a member of an outbreak response team noted that it was normal for Grocery stores to discard the cartons these products came with and as such, it was difficult and time-consuming to determine their sources. Therefore, Blockchain was going to be used to store this information in order to avert these problems in the future.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, FDA commissioner made it known that what the agency was facing is quite challenging. It was attributed to the fact they are unable to narrow down the contamination to a specific grower or even a region. As a result, a food recall could not be issued. Nevertheless, they are hiring the services of Frank Yiannas, Walmart’s vice president of food safety.

Walmart’s Vice President to Manage the Platform For Food Tracking

Frank Yiannas will oversee the processes on the proposed blockchain platform that is to be used in tracing food. According to FDA’s commissioner, an area of Frank’s expertise is the development of a Blockchain solution to “track and trace”. Accordingly, lettuce, fruits, and other food items can be tracked right from the farm, store and to the final consumer.

There has been a lot of concern on the food being consumed of lately. Manufacturers are trying to ensure that they are as safe as possible and so are federal agencies. In our recent report, it was revealed that the Swiss food manufacturer is also trying to track fish products using the Blockchain Platform.

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