News & Trends Impacting the Food and Beverage Supply Chain
FDA now NAMES NAMES
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will now release the names of retailers associated with severe foodborne outbreaks during recalls.
The agency has not traditionally released lists of specific retailers where recalled foods may have been purchased because certain supply chain information is confidential between the supplier and retailer, said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. In most cases, the information the recalling company publicizes is sufficient for consumers to identify and avoid recalled product, he added.
But a new policy describes situations when disclosing information for products undergoing recalls is appropriate. These circumstances will particularly apply in situations associated with recalls where consumption of the food has a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals.
Based on this new policy, the FDA will publicize retail consignee lists for food recalls when the food is not easily identified as being subject to a recall from its retail packaging, or lack thereof, and if the food is likely to be available for consumption. Example: food sold directly to consumers with no UPC or barcode, such as deli cheese, pet treats sold in bulk, and fresh fruits and vegetables sold individually.
The new draft guidance also states that the FDA may disclose retail consignee lists when a recalled food is related to a foodborne illness outbreak and where the information is most useful to consumers.
A 3D Spin on Pizza
To replace the freeze-dried meals astronauts consume while in space, NASA funded research for the design of a 3D printer that would produce food such as pizza, chocolate, and meat.
NASA selected food technology production company BeeHex, which had unveiled its 3D food printer in 2013 and has been working on improving it ever since. BeeHex lost NASA funding thanks to budget cuts, but decided to continue developing its printer, called Chef 3D, for use on Earth. The BeeHex technology prints pizza at public venues such as concert and sports arenas.
Coffee From the Grounds Up
To help brew coffee sustainability, a percentage of sales from every pound of Original Blend coffee beans sold to Dunkin’ franchisees will go to World Coffee Research (WCR), a global coffee industry nonprofit collaborative research and development program.
This financial contribution, which could total $2 millon over the course of the agreement, will advance several key objectives towards coffee sustainability:
- Increase the supplies of quality coffee through innovative, collaborative research on key supply constraints, including climate change, disease and insect problems, yield and quality, and the lack of genetic diversity.
- Better understand the causes and effects of genetic, agronomic, and post-harvest factors on the quality of coffees to boost overall quality and volumes.
- Improve the livelihoods of coffee growers by providing them with better, higher revenue-earning varieties and agronomic technologies.
- Increase the capacity of coffee origin countries to execute advanced coffee research that will result in increased cup quality and volumes of quality coffee.
Ten of the world’s largest food supply companies—including Walmart, Nestlé, Dole, and Tyson—plan to form a blockchain that will change how the sector tracks food on a global scale. This new initiative is called the Food Trust, and its goal is quicker and more efficient recalls of unsafe or contaminated food.
Currently, food companies are required to register only a few steps, and many still use paper documents to record data, allowing for bad food to easily get into the supply chain.
Based on IBM technology, the Food Trust hopes blockchain technology will help avoid future crises like the recent E. coli contamination of romaine lettuce that affected 197 people in 35 states.