2015: The Year of the Clean Menu

Restaurant operators across the industry made 2015 the Year of the Clean Menu with many chains across the fast casual and quick-serve segments working to  continue industry efforts to clean up the foods they serve. Driven by consumer demand for food transparency and fresh ingredients, many operators over the last year have made movements or commitments to cleaning up their supply chain - and offering their consumers healthier and more socially responsible ingredients.  From committing to cage-free eggs to phasing out additives and antibiotics, here are just a few of the highlights of movement to clean up menu offerings in 2015: 

GMA Answers Call For Consumer Information with SmartLabel Initiative

The food industry announced a new initiative this week that continues to answer the consumer's increasing call for greater transparency in the food supply chain. The SmartLabel transparency initiative will enable consumers to get added information about thousands of products by scanning a QR code on packaging or accessing an online landing page with information about ingredients and other product attributes such as allergens, third-party certifications and social compliance programs.

Fighting Food Fraud with Traceability Software

The largest international ocean conservation organization is calling for end-to-end traceability throughout the entire seafood supply chain following a study released involving the mislabeling of America’s favorite fish – salmon.  Oceana has released a new study that collected 82 salmon samples from restaurants and grocery stores and found that 43 percent were mislabeled. 

Breaking Brand: What the Hot Dog Report Means for Food Traceability

When consumers buy food based on the contents of the label on that food, they - rightfully so - expect to get what they pay for. Well, what happens when the label is wrong? For some consumers, they may never even know. But for people with extreme or even mild food allergies, the results can be terrifying. Well, now a food lab using next-generation DNA sequencing is out to expose exactly what food is being mislabeled.

GMO Labeling Bill Debate Continues in Washington

The national debate over whether food containing genetically engineered crops - or GMOs - should be required to be labeled went to Washington this week, with a hearing in the Senate agriculture committee. This latest step follows a measure passed this summer that would block any mandatory GMO labeling by states, but instead establish a national-level voluntary standard.