Using RFID tags to improve food safety

Recent food security scares have triggered public outcries and intense concern. People want to know exactly what is in their food, and what is done to it by whom.

In response, Canada and many other countries are introducing traceability requirements – records that track all links in the food supply chain, from farmers to processors to retailers to consumers.

In the coming years, entire industries will be affected, and many are looking to RFID to automate tracking.

Regulation emerging in different regions reflects their specific concerns. In the U.S., fear of bioterrorism is high. The 2002 Bioterrorism Act resulted in the introduction of record-keeping rules this year to protect the food supply chain by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In Europe, fierce territoriality – in addition to extreme concern about mad cow disease – is the driver. The E.U. wants to extend the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) geographical indications to ensure products like Parmesan cheese or Dijon mustard really come from regions in Italy and France.

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