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RFID: Food Safety and Product Recalls

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RFID: Food Safety and Product Recalls

Bert Moore

Consumer safety and corporate profits can both benefit from RFID

The recent recall of 177 products (to date) containing hydrolyzed vegetable protein, a flavor enhancer used in a wide variety of processed food products, such as soups, sauces, chilis, stews, hot dogs, gravies, seasoned snack foods, dips, and dressings clearly illustrates the vulnerability of the food supply chain -- and the need for companies to understand the many ways that RFID can help to protect consumer safety and minimize the financial impact of product recalls.

To call the modern food supply and distribution channel a "chain" is woefully inadequate -- it's more like a tapestry with dozens and even hundreds of "threads" coming together to produce the final product. Livestock are fed with commercial feed that may contain ingredients from dozens of sources; processed foods contain many different ingredients that may, for any given batch, be sourced from different companies which, in turn, may receive products from many other companies; fresh produce, juices and jams typically come from many different farms and orchards. And this is the same situation in every foreign country from which produce and ingredients are sourced.

Publication date: April 2010

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