WG’s Supply Chain Risk Management Solution Answers FDA’s Call to Apply Technologies to Advance Food Safety


In April, the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner stated: “Technologies need to create a more transparent and safer food system while addressing consumer demands for quick access to information about where their foods come from, how they’re produced and, if the food is the subject of an ongoing recall.”  iFood Decision Sciences is proud to be part of a technology-driven program which answers the Commissioner’s call:  Western Growers (WG) new Supply Chain Risk Management Solution.

Launched during a Forbes AgTech Summit session moderated by FDA’s Frank Yiannis, this unique and comprehensive food safety program will help produce companies advance daily improvement through real time assessment of their food safety practices.

The Supply Chain Risk Management Solution utilizes new technology to advance food safety in several ways:

  • Daily Assessment: While industry currently assesses compliance and successful implementation of practices through third party audits (a snapshot in time), this program’s unique software system allows companies daily and continuous input on their food safety performance.

  • Track Trends:  This system allows companies to easily review and track food safety data to identify trends that facilitate ongoing improvements in food safety practices throughout the supply chain.

  • Traceback: The software system can track product using blockchain technology from farm to fork. This protects companies and their customers by facilitating efficient recalls when warranted and, more importantly, the readily available traceback data can quickly prove which products were uninvolved in a food safety event.

  • Liability Coverage: The solution offers indemnification to supply chain participants in the case of a contamination event.

WG has partnered with iFood Decision Sciences (iFoodDS) to deliver the unique software system which allows companies the ability to assess and track all food safety systems and processes in real time and provides actionable information on needed improvements. Additionally, Trimble HarvestMark’s traceback system gives companies item level traceability throughout the supply chain (not just one step forward and back) plus blockchain compatibility so customers and consumers can quickly determine if a product is safe to sell, buy and consume.

Several WG member companies that grow, ship and process produce are in the process of implementing the Supply Chain Risk Management Solution. The system is easy to implement since it is designed to be open source and work with other existing systems already in place.

To learn more about this Supply Chain Risk Management Solution, contact Helen Bekris at hbekris@idsfoodsafety.com.

Listeria Prevention Strategies Using the EnABLe Model

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At iFoodDecisionSciences (iFoodDS), we understand that whether your facility processes fresh produce, frozen foods, spices, meat, poultry, dairy or seafood, protecting public health by advancing continuous improvement in food safety is always the priority. We also know that Listeria prevention strategies are of crucial importance and also present unique challenges in production facilities. But we believe we can help.

Based upon newly published peer-reviewed research co-authored by our Food Safety Scientist, Dr. Claire Zoellner, iFoodDS is offering a new software service to help food facilities reduce the risk of Listeria monocytogenes contamination of food products through improved environmental monitoring and detection.

As cited in the research from Cornell University, “detection of pathogens in food processing facilities by routine environmental monitoring is essential to reduce the risk of foodborne illness but is complicated by the complexity of equipment and environment surfaces.” Therefore Dr. Zoellner and her fellow scientists built a model called EnABLe (Environmental monitoring with an Agent-based model of Listeria), which is a detailed and customizable simulation tool for use in food processing facilities.

How does EnABLe work? Simply put, the EnABLe model maps how Listeria could move through a facility allowing for more targeted environmental monitoring and improved risk management. When combined with iFoodDS software tools and mapping, companies can achieve real-time visibility into their monitoring effectiveness.

“Together with iFoodDS’ software and analytics solutions, EnABLe is a wonderful example of turning industry-leading science and research into a tool that will help the food industry address pressing food safety challenges,” says Dr. Martin Wiedmann, Gellert Family Professor in Food Safety at Cornell University and a co-author of the paper.

The iFoodDS team, led by Dr. Zoellner, has already begun using EnABLe for clients in food production facilities. In real-life application, the EnABLe model and user software is customized to each individual facility to improve environmental monitoring and enhance employee food safety training as well.

For more information on the EnABLe model and listeria prevention strategies contact us at 206-219- 3703 or visit our website at www.idsfoodsafety.com