Though many thought the growing interest in organic food was just a temporary fad, it is a consumer obsession that is here to stay. Across the world, people are more concerned than ever before with the quality of their food, its freshness, and where it originated from. Businesses across the United States are recognizing this demand and building a brand that caters to this segment of customers.
Having a food database or program in place to keep track of a food's origin, ship date, or expiration date, allows businesses to remain transparent with consumers.
Traceability is utilized by thousands of companies to attract customers, prevent contamination before it happens, and comply with rigorous standards set by the government. Thankfully, modern technology systems have made it easier to track food items and ensure compliance.
Read ahead to learn about the importance and benefits of foot tracking and traceability-
Why Food Tracking Matters
Foodborne illnesses caused many challenges for the fast-food industry a couple of years ago. An E. coli outbreak found in lettuce sickened over 200 people and took the lives of 5 people across the United States. This unfortunate incident made it clearer than ever that implementing preventative measures to avoid contamination is imperative.
Operators have learned that optimizing their food tracking practices can help pinpoint a food safety concern as soon as possible. Many modern solutions such as a barcode scanner or tracking app to provide traceability and visibility into every food item that is transported.
Nowadays, it is possible to determine where an item originated from, what day it shipped on, and all of the places it stopped in-between. Most importantly, food tracking devices can determine the item's shelf-life and expiration date, allowing participants across the food supply chain to prevent another E. coli incident before it happens.
Without proper food tracking every day, a company's reputation can be ruined, lives can be lost, people can become deathly ill, and distribution profits are lost. The top benefits of traceability include-
1. Promotes Sustainability
Climate change and ecological sustainability are growing concerns across the world. Utilizing certification programs to ensure the traceability of items is one frequently used, helpful initiative. Traceability is the ability to identify and track the history, distribution, location, and application of food items.
Certification programs are put in place to validate that an item has been transported by following all of the protocols, regulations, and standards set forth by the FDA and EPA.
When food is grown and harvested through sustainable means, it becomes certified. Certification can help to reduce emissions and encourage sustainable growth programs. Utilizing food tracking and certification tools can help to improve a company's reputation and build trust among customers while saving the environment.
2. Prevents Illness & Ensures Food Safety
In a global supply chain, ingredients and food are coming from all over the world. Many countries don't require that operators maintain the same health standards as the United States.
With a lack of communication among participants, it can often be a struggle to know exactly where food is coming from and how it is grown. This results in contamination due to lax farming standards and poor transport practices.
Because people are concerned with a diet tracker, health, fitness, healthy eating, food intake, food tracking, and weight loss more so now than ever, operators need to find ways to prevent illness and ensure food safety.
A traceability program can help track the origin of food in a global supply chain and pinpoint listeria, salmonella, or E. coli before the consumer ever eats it. This helps to overcome the visibility and communication barriers facing the distribution chain while protecting consumers.
3. Builds a Good Reputation
More and more consumers are concerned with where their food comes from and how it is grown. Businesses have taken advantage of consumers' piquing interest in food safety by being transparent about their items' traceability.
With the growing consumer demand for organic foods and operators who use sustainable policies, traceability transparency is a smart business move. It has helped businesses such as Whole Foods or Mother's Market build a brand and attract a loyal customer base.
4. Increases Profits
When performed properly, food tracking provides a way for producers to sell new items and preparations with ease that oscillate with their consumers' proclivities. Grocers and restaurants can offer new items without worrying about how safe they are for consumption. Brands can be developed based on traceability, transparency, quality produce, and fresh foods.
Over time, businesses that curate a brand based on these qualities will attract a specific segment of the market. This can help to stand out from the competition, grow the bottom line, and generate profits.
5. Ensure Compliance
The FDA has addressed the need for effective food tracking, requiring businesses to record the tracing of certain foods. There are other regulations that operators have to comply with to prevent a potential outbreak, build consumer trust, and prevent food recalls.
Traceability provides documentation that helps to ensure compliance with these rules and regulations. An optimized RFID or another tracing tool can help to streamline this process and minimize any bottlenecks that lead to non-compliance. To see what these requirements entail, read the full text of the Food Safety Modernization Act on the FDA website.
In conclusion, here are the key takeaways to remember the importance of food tracking-
- Operators have learned that optimizing their food tracking practices can help pinpoint a food safety concern as soon as possible.
- Without proper food tracking, a company's reputation can be ruined, lives can be lost, people can become deathly ill, and profits are lost throughout the distribution chain.
- Benefits to food tracking include-improves sustainability, prevents illness and food tracking, ensures food safety, builds a good reputation, increases profits, and ensures compliance.