The FDA is looking to move to a “New Era of Smarter Food Safety” over the next decade. They believe, as foods are reformulated, new food production methods created and the food system is more digitized, the need for new and modified safety methods must also adapt. The FDA has created a Blueprint, with input from their “food safety experts, the food industry, consumers, technology firms, federal and state regulatory partners” and others.
They have focused their attention on four elements in order to meet the safety goals they want to achieve:
- Tech-enabled Traceability – advances in artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and sensor technologies, may help predict and prevent food safety problems and better detect and respond to issues like recalls and outbreaks.
- Smarter Tools and Approaches for Prevention and Outbreak Response -the ability to strengthen root cause analyses to help avoid identified risks and provide enhanced predictive analytics. Accelerating the ability to report on foodborne illnesses to decrease the number of individuals affected will be a key component within this element.
- New Business Models and Retail Modernization – as new food delivery methods develop (online ordering, door delivery, etc.) there is a need to ensure all methods meet the FDA safety requirements. New technology may play a more prominent role in this aspect of the food safety chain.
- Food Safety Culture – from the farm to the food facilities and finally to the homes, creating a food safety culture may help reduce inspection frequency, reduce recalls and increase innovation of food safety technologies.
Within each of these elements, there is a technology element to track, monitor, and report aspects of food safety. “Imagine the ability to scan a bag of lettuce and immediately know where it came from to determine if it’s tied to an outbreak of food-borne illness?” These types of developments require systems that can adapt and change as the needs change and will more than likely become a requirement that will need to be carried out by manufacturers. Pragmatyxs knows and understands the FDA requirements for food and beverage companies and has the expertise to adapt to this evolving industry.