Category Archives: blockchain food tracking

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Lettuce E. Coli Outbreak Prompts FDA to Seek Blockchain Solution

Lettuce E. Coli Outbreak Prompts FDA to Seek Blockchain Solution

A recent E. Coli outbreak in lettuce has convinced the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it could adapt blockchain for tracing food in a complete supply chain. Dr Scott Gottlieb informed in a CNBC interview that the FDA had already requested Walmart’s ex-head of food safety, Frank Yiannas, to be its food and veterinary medicine supply commissioner.

Dr Gottlieb said: “We have a guy starting… the former head of food safety at Walmart who is going to be coming to the FDA to help us put in place among other things better track and trace using tools like blockchain maybe to even do track-and-trace on the food supply chain.”

The traceable and immutable nature of blockchain technology makes it a suitable tool for tracking food back to their sources. Gottlieb believes that this can be used to not only trace the source easily but allows for specific warnings to be issued, rather than broad ones that also affect uncontaminated produce.

In the future, using the technology we’re requiring, a customer could potentially scan a bag of salad and know with certainty where it came from”, Yiannas said. In his role in Walmart, Yiannas had set up a blockchain system that helped the multi-store chain track its vegetables, right down to the farms.

This move is similar to Carrefour, a French retail giant that has banked on IBM’s Food Trust blockchain system for enhancing food security. In July, British watchdog, Food Standards Agency announced it had completed a successful trial of creating an end to end tracing system for beef using blockchain technology too.

These moves show that big retail and sale companies are warming up to the decentralized technology, banking on its efficiency and extensive record keeping to speed up and address issues related to food.

Critics, like Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin, have suggested that IBM’s concerted effort in blockchain food tracking amounts to mere marketing hype. They see blockchain technology as a tool rather than an infallible means of guaranteeing credibility in supply chains.

 

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Carrefour’s Blockchain Poultry Tracking Live in Spain

Retail company Carrefour has launched a new blockchain-based organic poultry tracking system in Spain. The new system has been deployed on the Hyperledger DLT system based in Spain.

The first-of-its-kind food tracking solution will be used to track organic chickens based in Galicia. Galician chickens are raised without antibiotic treatment and are considered extremely healthy for the human body but the problem lies with their tracking and recording of the originality of the meat. Now with the new system in place, the Spanish network will use a QR code tracker to search for detailed info on every Galician chicken’s date of birth, breed, nutrition and other important data.

Carrefour illustrates the importance of using the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) for supply chains in its press release, claiming it provides increased transparency and allows customers to view the entire journey of their meat to their table.

The retailer has been testing blockchain poultry tracking solutions for a while now with experiments in France in early 2018 and announced its partnership with IBM and its Food Trust in October. The food association was announced by the tech giant back in 2016 to promote its Hyperledger blockchain ecosystem. Other companies have also joined the decentralized supply chain platform including major names like Nestle SA, Unilever NV and Walmart.

Several other blockchain-based supply chain management systems are already in use including Walmart’s vegetable tracking system starting directly from the farms. Other uses of blockchain are also being implemented in the food industry including food processing.

 

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