Food deterioration is a major point of concern for the Food Industry during its production, handling, storing, food preparation or commercialization. Whether it is about massive losses of stock, health related issues, fighting hunger, or environmental deterioration impacted by production, the lack of quality and wholesomeness affects everyone. In fact, over $35 billion a year is lost due to food spoilage. As a result, it's imperative to understand the importance of maintaining food quality and prevent spoilage.
These recent events are proof of the urgent need for Food Industry organizations to embrace practices that prevent food-borne illnesses and guarantee quality standards.
Consumers' definition of food safety is evolving
A recent Salmonella outbreak in the US, has sickened 10 people and caused one death with people affected in California, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Iowa, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The outbreak is believed to be connected to ground beef.
With more of these unfortunate news consumers are demanding better and more efficient proof of quality. They used to define food safety as consumable items free of harmful ingredients and chemicals. Today, consumers also want clear information on the ingredient list, accurate labeling, and no additional additives. Moreover, they will only purchase from brands they deem as safe.
Restaurants are having food spoilage problems too
Case in point, Chipotle has had quite a few reports of food borne illnesses within their restaurants caused by a bacteria called clostridium perfringens. Between July 26 and July 30, 647 Chipotle customers endured gastrointestinal symptoms. You see, the bacteria form when food is left out and at unsafe temperatures.
What about power shut-offs -- how would they affect food safety?
Recently, PG&E confirmed the shut off power of 17 counties on Oct. 23 in California due to strong winds and the potential for a major wildfire. How can the food industry keep perishables safe during a power outage? To keep many foods safe for human consumption, they must be kept refrigerated to prevent yeasts, molds, and bacteria from growing. You see, without the right moisture, and temperature, control - food would deteriorate at the behest of these types of pesky microorganisms.
Say, for instance, the lack of refrigeration caused E.Coli to proliferate in food. Then, consumers ingested these items and immediately exhibited the symptoms of stomach cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting. Could your organization handle the damage to your brand and business reputation?
The power outages only serve to shine a spotlight on the already-rampant food safety concerns. If food has already been exposed to bacteria and mold, the inability to refrigerate the items would only exacerbate the issue. This could equate to thousands, if not millions, in lost revenue.
How can technology help improve food safety?
As the food industry continues to grow, to meet the evolving tastes and demands of their target audiences, it is critical to ensure visibility in food quality tracking. Not to mention, the right environmental conditions must be met at all times.
What’s needed? Technology can be used to prevent food spoilage, and different food-borne illnesses, with real-time tracking and monitoring features. In fact, the FDA recently announced that it plans to leverage technology to create more traceable and safer food system contributing to the advances being made in FDA’s implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Are you ready to guarantee freshness? It is not necessary to implement extensive solutions, Webee's user-friendly solution, with a plug-and-play installation, provides real-time monitoring for temperature, humidity, and other variables. Don't be the next food company to receive negative headlines. See it for yourself and sign up for a free trial today.
Amazon has changed the game of retail forever. They not only have innovated new forms or distribution but have changed how consumers buy. From streaming content to same day delivery, Amazon is delivering new and innovating experiences to consumers.
However, this technology and retail giant is experiencing an unexpected selling failure. Recently, the retail has come under sharp criticism for delivering food items well past their expiration dates. While some expiration dates aren't set in stone, it has been discovered that food items have been shipped out that are months or even a year past their expiration date. This comes as a shock to consumers as they begin the question of the retailer’s delivery capability and commitment to quality.
Andrea Wilson purchased Hostess Brownies on Amazon that were over a year past their expiration date - but, she had already eaten one before she noticed. In an interview she shared, "It didn’t occur to me that you could even sell something that was expired. If I had bought it the first time and it was like that, I never would have bought it at all.”
Ironically, if this scenario were to happen at your local grocery store, you might expect a bevy of suits and string of negative Yelp! reviews. The damage to the store’s reputation would have rippling repercussions that could cause them to go out of business.
For a technology company, the lack of oversight points to glaring loopholes in Amazon's logistics system. Expiring items are being sold, and shipped, without much accountability. Amazon's marketplace also continues to grow, which worries consumer safety advocates who believe this will only expand upon the problem. Many are not convinced that Amazon has figured out how to scale the food business.
If it can happen to Amazon, it can happen to you
Despite Amazon's size and financial resources, they are not invincible to the complexities around food safety. Another issue is, that expired food items can leave people sick or worse. In the digital age, consumers demand even more transparency and food safety.
Okay, enough about Amazon. The point is, food safety is everyone's concern. What could Amazon have done better? In what ways can your company improve the way it handles and transports food items?
Let us know what you think about the way companies are making sure they sell high-quality products and how can they use technology to make it happen.