Food & Beverage
Is the food or beverage you buy at the grocery store safe to eat or drink? Reuters estimates that 76 million people get sick in the USA every year from foodborne illnesses; of these, approximately 5,000 die. Ten years ago, hardly anyone ever thought seriously about food as a source of disease, nor did they think that their food could contain potentially life-threatening ingredients. But in the 21st century where news and information is easily and instantly accessible from TV, radio, the internet and email, new issues with food safety seem to be occurring on a weekly basis. Whether the number of food problems have actually increased or the media has simply sensationalized recent stories of foodborne illnesses, one thing is absolutely certain: food safety is on the minds of consumers in a way never before seen.
What is the root of the problem? While illnesses due to tainted food may never be totally eliminated from the supply chain, the core problem is a lack of visibility. This ranges from the lack of visibility of what ingredients and raw materials went into the product, to the lack of visibility of where the finished goods are in the supply chain. Traditional back office systems don’t provide the event and transactional information about the complete supply chain. Even the food manufacturers that have the most sophisticated information systems lack the data internally to analyze the extent of their problem and what actions to take. It can take days, weeks or even months to get a handle on the scope of the issue. In the meantime, these companies lose revenue, profit, public trust, and shareholder value. What’s worse is that once-cherished brands that took years to develop, may be tarnished for years to come.
How can a food manufacturer minimize the impacts to their organizations and improve safety? In the past there were no simple answers. Today, rfXcel has the technology for complete supply chain traceability in one system. Manufacturers need the ability to track all of the ingredients and raw materials that comprise their finished goods. This includes multiple levels of suppliers and the parent/child relationships of any processing the ingredients may go through. In addition, value chain traceability will allow companies to identify which finished goods are affected by a problem and then determine where they are in the supply chain.