In light of the current E-Coli outbreak in the United States, food traceability is as important now as ever.
The outbreak in the US has claimed the lived of 5 people and has made nearly 200 people sick. With food being transported all over the world, food traceability is vital to quickly identifying the source and getting the contaminated food off the shelves at the local market.The European Union General Food Law requires all businesses involved in the handling of food to implement traceability systems. A traceability system performs three essential functions:1. identifies pertinent information, 2. communicates the information, and 3. ensures the authenticity information.Identifying pertinent information includes gathering the following data:1. the product’s attributes such as an animal’s date and place of birth, 2. the slaughter or harvest date, 3. the farm where the product originated,4. transportation dates and locations, and5. when it arrived at the marketThe information should be communicated to other companies along the supply chain, the government, and the consumer. Finally, a traceability system should authenticate the information in order to reduce supply chain fraud, promote consumer confidence, and effectively manage outbreaks.
How is food accurately traced?
While several food traceability systems already exist, they are generally centralized; therefore, they are susceptible to unauthorized alterations. When an outbreak occurs, a farmer may not want to claim responsibility. In the current systems, it is possible manipulate the records in an effort to avoid liability. Additionally, criminals committing food fraud by claiming that the product originated from a more exotic location in an effort to raise the selling price may edit the location to reflect such claim.A decentralized system involving a consensus mechanism would eliminate the ability to edit food record and promote the integrity of the food industry. A food traceability system ran on NeuroChain will ensure that the information on the traceability label is accurate and not altered. NeuroChain prevents alteration by requiring a consensus amongst a group of bots or nodes. When a company is running the NeuroChain platform, you can be sure than the food came from where the packaging says.