We all have heard about the news of outbreak of E. coli linked to the Romaine Lettuce. Recently the one that we heard was the contaminated romaine lettuce that made 167 people sick and was reported to total of 27 states. But the CDC issued a guideline to avoid the romaine lettuce made from the Salinas Valley growing region in California. Also, we have been hearing lots of contamination issues with the major meat/poultry farms. How do we trace the green leafy vegetables? How can we ensure the safety of the public regarding those unpacked oranges, bananas, and other fruits? Block chain might be the solution for this.
Blockchain is a digital ledger with properties of immutability, transparency and security and could be the solution for food safety and tracking supply chain management. Immutable records mean the information cannot be changed once entered. Being in the blockchain, the records must be re-entered instead of correcting it leading to creation of new block and the visibility. So goodbye to the data manipulation.
We can also make the vendors and suppliers to enter the essential data about the temperatures, conditions, and hand offs. Even better would be to add IOT’s devices data that are included in the trucks as they leave the storage, as they are stored at the vendors place. Mandating the inclusion of Internet of Things to track the condition of the leafy greens and produce could tell us how and where our food got contaminated. Retailers could specify the conditions of contract such as temperatures and humidity that the supply chain management custodians must adhere to. Also, the smart contract can be updated to record those out of compliance data ensuring transparency across the supply chain network. Also, with the labeling code, users can quickly scan via their phone and check to see if the greens produced trace to the place of contamination giving them the sense of security and control.
All in all, Block chain can be used to secure our food system. Also, for the production company could save on the cost of waste, and contamination related lawsuits using this block chain solution. Implementing IOT along with Blockchain can mandate the suppliers and vendors to keep our food intact at the optimum condition preserving our food safety.