U.S. FDA Eyes Blockchain to Enhance Food Safety in the Wake of E. coli Outbreak

Following an outbreak of E. coli in the United States that was linked to romaine lettuce, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering better track-and-trace methods and this includes the use of blockchain technology.

Speaking to business news channel CNBC, FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb announced that the federal agency had hired the vice president of food safety at Walmart, Frank Yiannas, as its foods and veterinary medicine deputy commissioner. Yiannas is expected to introduce new track-and-trace tools to the agency.

“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,”

Gottlieb said.

Pinpointing the Problem

According to Gottlieb, whenever there is a food-related outbreak, technologies such as blockchain will assist in tracing the cause to a specific distributor, farm or grower in the supply chain. This will prevent blanket warnings which affect everyone even when the cause is limited to a particular origin.

Prior to joining the FDA, Yiannas was instrumental in deploying blockchain technology at Walmart with a view of tracking leafy greens as CCN reported in September. This included the food traceability initiative which required producers of fresh, leafy greens to use blockchain technology in tracking and tracing such products. Walmart gave the suppliers one year to ensure that systems were in place for the program to take off.

While announcing the initiative at the time, Walmart noted that multiple states in the U.S. had suffered E. coli outbreaks linked to romaine lettuce and this had resulted in 96 hospitalizations and five deaths. With blockchain technology, the big box retailer added, product information such as origin would become available throughout the supply chain in real time.

“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 at the time.

Food Safety

Outside the United States, French retail giant Carrefour has taken similar steps to Walmart by integrating IBM’s tailored blockchain data system known as Food Trust with a view of improving food safety.

And about four months ago, the Food Standards Agency, the food safety watchdog of the United Kingdom, announced that a blockchain technology trial to track beef from the slaughterhouse to the end consumer had concluded successfully.


Source
Author: Mark Emem
Image Credit

Walmart implements IBM’s blockchain for food traceability

The aim is to track food from farm to store in near real time using blockchain’s distributed ledger system.

Walmart is working with IBM to implement blockchain as part of new food safety requirements for its suppliers. By this time next year, Walmart and Sam’s Club will ask suppliers of leafy greens like romaine lettuce and spinach to implement food traceability via IBM’s blockchain technology focused on the global food supply chain.

The aim is to track food from farm to store in near real time using blockchain’s distributed ledger system.

Walmart has worked with IBM since 2016 to apply new levels of traceability based on blockchain technology across the food supply chain. Walmart said the plan now is to extend the technology in order to help reduce the spread of food-borne illnesses by pinpointing issues in the food chain, while at the same time avoiding massive losses for retailers and suppliers during a recall.

“We’re committed to providing our customers with safe, quality foods,” said Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety for Walmart. “Our customers deserve a more transparent supply chain.We felt the one-step-up and one-step-back model of food traceability was outdated for the 21st century. This is a smart, technology-supported move that will greatly benefit our customers and transform the food system, benefitting all stakeholders.”

Big Blue has been applying blockchain technology in various supply chain scenarios including shipping, food and banking. Last August, IBM launched its blockchain food supply efforts via a collaboration with Dole, Driscoll’s, Golden State Foods, Kroger, McCormick and Company, McLane Company, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Walmart and Unilever. Walmart, IBM and China’s Tsinghua University have piloted blockchain in the food supply chain previously.

Blockchain is a secure, encrypted database architecture that logs and links all transactions on a tamper-proof ledger distributed among multiple parties. In effect, a blockchain creates an immutable golden record of time-stamped transactions related to any product that can be bought and sold. In the supply chain, blockchain is used as a means to increase transparency, add visibility and improve supply chain economics.


Source
Author:  Natalie Gagliordi
Image Credit

Walmart Looks to Blockchain for Better Package Tracking

Walmart has yet another delivery-focused blockchain patent in the works.
The application published on July 5 is entitled “Delivery Reservation Apparatus and Method,” and as suggested, it outlines a way for managing package reservations in the context of the purchaser not being available to actually receive it.



It’s the latest “smart delivery” intellectual property play from the retail giant, which in the past year has submitted a number of U.S. patent applications in this area. Indeed, the company seems to be looking at the technology as a way to automate elements of the delivery process, but to date, much of the company’s public-facing work with blockchain has been focused on food supply chain tracking.

In the newly released filing, Walmart detail system of delivery lockers – located at a person’s home, transportation hub or other location – that can safeguard the delivered items until their recipients can come and actually sign for them. Blockchain fits into the conceived picture as a method of connecting those lockers in order to track which ones are occupied and which ones are free to be used.

“Each space on the docking station has a corresponding capacity unit for each location on the docking station. The transactions for the capacity units are tracked in a ledger, with available capacity units indicating an open location on the docking station or contracted out capacity units indicating that either the location has a locker secured thereto or that the location is reserved for a future delivery,” Walmart wrote, going on to add:
“In some embodiments, the docking stations utilize a blockchain reservation system. As such, each docking station can be a node within a blockchain network.”
The application makes frequent reference to a “public ledger,” suggesting that the proposed system would be openly accessible to some extent rather than closed off to certain participants. That leger, according to the filing, “contains a record of available and reserved capacity units for the plurality of locker docking stations.”

This perhaps suggests that Walmart wouldn’t necessarily be the only operator of these docking stations, and possibly is aimed at enabling a degree of participation by outside parties.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

Source
Author: Madeline Meng Shi
Image Credit

Don’t forget to join our Telegram channel for Crypto, Business & Technology news delivered to you daily.

Walmart Patents Another Blockchain Application

American retail giant Walmart has already filed several patents in regards to blockchain application within their business practices. The newest example is a technology that could be used to augment its digital offerings for consumers for retail product resales.

Released last Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, the document describes a ledger that would track products that each store sold to a particular customer. The customer would register the item after it has been bought for the first time, and choose a price for a resale, with the system itself acting essentially as a digital marketplace.
According to the application, the ledger would then store, “information regarding whether the enterprise allows particular items to be sold via their sales platform (for example, certain items may be prohibited by law in some relevant manner or the enterprise itself may simply decline to resell certain items), information regarding whether a current or predicted demand exists for particular items in used condition, and estimates regarding wholesale and/or retail remaining value for specific items.”

Aside from this information, the ledger may store information such as whether the customer even bought this item or had previously offered an item for resale via the sales platform.

Walmart is already looking into various other blockchain application within their business. For example, they have submitted a patent called the “smart package” in August 2017, which would include a device that records information on a blockchain regarding the contents of the package, its environmental conditions, its location and more. They have also said that their suppliers would need to use blockchain for tracking food, among similar uses.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

Source
Author: Sead Fadilpasic
Image Credit