Food Security and Smart Packaging

“Food, glorious food!” The line from the musical Oliver drives home to us the importance of protecting our food supply, both current and future, for the benefit and safety of each and every one of us.

Companies throughout the world are required to track that which we consume from farm to table. The many instances in which our food can be contaminated during processing or handling just serves to add fuel to the fire. The fact remains that the world’s food supply chains need monitoring and augmentation. Food security, or insecurity, is a supply chain issue, not an availability issue, for there is food aplenty. How can technology protect that food?

Low Technology

The most basic means suppliers use to track products is called “product dating.” This is most often encountered as a “Best if Used By” sticker on the product. But except for infant formula, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not require product dating, under current food safety regulations. Their fact sheet on food product dating states that “dates may be voluntarily applied provided they are labeled in a manner that is truthful and not misleading and in compliance with FSIS regulations.” The USDA also notes that “Dates are not an indicator of the product’s safety and are not required by Federal law.”

Thus, every supplier is on their own to choose how they may wish to communicate via labeling with both the retailer (on whose shelves we, the consumer, find their goods) and the consumer.

Codes, Codes and More Codes

We then progressed to barcoding, which told us when and where a product was packaged. This is a means which allows the product/produce providers to identify batches which were identified as being bad subsequent to shipment. Every day there are product and (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Cylance Blog authored by Christopher Burgess. Read the original post at:

Christopher Burgess

Christopher Burgess

Christopher Burgess (@burgessct) is a writer, speaker and commentator on security issues. He is a former Senior Security Advisor to Cisco and served 30+ years within the CIA which awarded him the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal upon his retirement. Christopher co-authored the book, “Secrets Stolen, Fortunes Lost, Preventing Intellectual Property Theft and Economic Espionage in the 21st Century”. He also founded the non-profit: Senior Online Safety.

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