Food safety, traceability and sustainability blog


Friday Round-up (9/4/20): How Machine Learning Will Help Food Companies Build Resilience and Efficiency

Every week FoodLogiQ will be aggregating the latest updates and resources for businesses navigating the changing food industry. Learn how the industry leaders are adapting to protect and feed consumers, while building resilience in the face of global crisis.

As the food industry continues to recoup and recover from the impact of COVID-19, one theme continues to come into the light; the supply chain inefficiencies exposed by the global pandemic. Many experts are talking about the importance of transparency for supply chain modernization, and in light of the FDA’s for the New Era of Smarter Food Safety blueprint it is clear that regulators are gearing up to support the industry in greater traceability efforts, especially given the vulnerabilities made evident through the pandemic.

Leveraging existing data to pull out the nuggets of wisdom can seem like a daunting task for any food company. However, technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), can help harness the power of data that has been collected, standardized and digitized across the supply chain to tease out insights and patterns that may not be readily visible. 

The FDA recently released findings from their recent import screening pilot using AI. As part of the FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety Initiative, the agency is applying the use of AI and ML to available data sources as a means to validate the value of these methods and to strengthen their public health mission. The test highlighted the power of using models to analyze data, by identifying hidden linkages and patterns that current screening could not catch. This is groundbreaking as it could “almost triple” the likelihood that screeners will identify products with health and safety issues. 

Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., Commissioner of Food and Drugs, noted that they “believe that we can use the knowledge that ML provides to know where best to concentrate our resources to find potentially unsafe products.” There were 3 key areas that Commissioner Hahn focused on, 1) Strengthening Our Predictive Capabilities 2) Unleashing the Power of Data to Keep Americans Safe, and 3) Scaling a Mountain of Data. 

In the second phase of the project, the FDA is training AI to sniff out bad seafood, applying the machine learning algorithm in a field test of imported seafood. This will help the FDA determine which shipments they should examine, and which items in that shipment should be sent out for lab testing. The FDA will analyze the effectiveness of the new process against their current system and processes. 

Being able to make informed decisions, using the power of data sources that are already available shows the promise of ML and AI. This truly extends the reach of these teams to expedite those products that are low risk, and more quickly identify those items that may be higher risk. The results of this pilot are exciting, and have real potential for use to expedite these inspection processes, putting a focus on affected items that have been more thoroughly vetted and identified. This work further shows the broader value of well maintained datasets and the adoption of new technologies for other industry stakeholders, such as food retailers, operators and manufacturers. 

As we look towards the coming months, companies will continue their efforts to adapt and adjust their work environments, their operations and their processes in order to stay viable and productive. Companies will need to continue to innovate, streamline, and find efficiencies in their operations. Understanding that their greatest strengths and weaknesses may just be one click away. 

Harnessing the power of data, making informed decisions and being able to swiftly and accurately identify those anomalies in your supply chain will be key for many food businesses in the new normal. FoodLogiQ will be exploring emerging technologies and approaches to tackling these issues throughout our upcoming user group meeting, Virtual reCONNECT 2020. Hear from industry stakeholders as they discuss their approaches to risk management, supply chain transparency and building smarter global food businesses. Our informative sessions and interactive roundtables provide the opportunity to ask questions and explore these challenges together. These include: 

Incident Management During Crisis: How Dine Brands Responded to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has launched a wave of unprecedented change across the food supply chain. During this crisis, organizations throughout the food industry have been forced to pivot quickly, adapt and adopt new strategies to mitigate risk and support business continuity. Many FoodLogiQ customers have leveraged Connect in innovative ways to respond to the crisis, maintain SOPs and uphold the safety of employees and consumer. Join Quality Assurance Specialist Jason Brown to learn how Dine Brands Global has utilized quality incident management functionality with FoodLogiQ Connect’s Manage + Monitor solution to manage and report on their COVID-19 response.

RFID: A Case Study with Avery Dennison and Zebra Technologies

With higher consumer experience expectations and razor-thin profit margins, the entire food industry is challenged to find ways to drive improved and accurate traceability. RFID – Radio Frequency Identification – now plays a key role in that task. Avery Dennison and Zebra Technologies will discuss their ongoing RFID collaboration, sharing insights on how assigning and capturing standardized data will be foundational to faster, more efficient and more precise supply chains; reducing costs associated to labor, exception processing and food waste;

and why automating the capture of cartons or items means improved visibility and inventory management, as well as swift reaction to any withdrawal scenario. 

The Tidalwave of Technology and What It Means for the Future of Food

Change is hard, but it’s not always a bad thing. 2020 has been a year of unprecedented change for the food industry, and we’ve all had to learn how to adapt in how we work and live. Companies have evolved faster and become more nimble than ever before, and transparency has become paramount for successful business operations. Join Lucelena Angarita from IPC/Subway and Julie McGill from FoodLogiQ as they discuss the state of food traceability, as well as other key industry topics, including the FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety; Interoperability Proof of Concept: Traceability data exchange; Industry Initiatives: GDST, PTI, Leafy Greens Task Force; and Use of advanced data carriers such as RFID. 

reCONNECT Keynote with Sean O’Leary and John Keogh

FoodLogiQ CEO Sean O’Leary shares insights about our changing industry and how the technology visionaries of today will be the leaders of tomorrow, and industry expert and keynote visionary John Keogh explores how food transparency and trust play a critical role in the success of any organization.

Roundtable - The Future of Traceability

The FDA’s 2019 launch of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety sparked a chorus of conversation about the importance of end-to-end traceability throughout the food system. Since that time, many industry stakeholders have begun evaluating their product tracking methods and taking a closer look at their ability to respond to food recalls and withdrawals in a timely and accurate manner. Join Melanie Nuce from GS1 US and Karil Kochenderfer at LINKAGES, as they explore the changing regulatory landscape in light of the FDA’s Strategic Blueprint, the need for increased usage of food safety technologies, and why research, innovation and collaboration will be the key to protecting the world’s food supply.

Don’t miss these presentations from Whole Foods Market and others from IPC/Subway, Oracle, First Watch, Testo and GS1 US. Request a pass today.


View FoodLogiQ's COVID-19 Food Industry Resource Center for industry-specific updates, resources and information on the coronavirus crisis. For supply chain traceability and risk mitigation guidance, see our general Resource Center.

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Posted by Julie McGill on Sep 4, 2020 5:06:24 PM

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