Bringing cold chain monitoring into the 21st century
Maintaining a safe temperature range for perishable food from farm to fork remains a technical and logistical challenge, and it’s not the only one food producers and handlers contend with. Other areas for potential improvement in food safety are recordkeeping, the scope of monitoring, real-time visibility into systems, human error and cost management. Accurate data, available to managers as the readings are taken, can help with all of these tasks. IoT applications like RFID sensors connected to GPS networks have already begun to improve tracking of food as it moves through the supply chain, boosting efficiency, reducing shrinkage, and better predicting shelf life….
Stopping illness outbreaks and recalls before they begin
There is also the potential to prevent food contamination with IoT technology. For instance, there is a tool for food handlers that detects traces of pathogens on employees’ hands after washing. The employees get immediate feedback from the device about whether they need to wash their hands again. Managers receive data they can analyze to identify times and days when employee handwashing is less thorough and take steps to correct the problem…
Improving operational efficiency
IoT sensor data can enable predictive maintenance and indicate when equipment is nearing the end of its useful life so it can be switched out before it fails and compromises product quality. Are there processes that need improvement to ensure cold chain continuity, such as better sorting of products with different temperature requirements or faster loading times to avoid product warmups? With up-to-the-moment data and a wide network of sensors, it’s possible to track product temperatures from the time they enter a plant to the moment they leave. Delivery of temperature readings directly from sensors to the cloud also frees employees from data entry so they can focus on other safety- and production-related tasks…
In the News
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