Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

The Produce Traceability Initiative: FDA May Slap RFID Tags On Your Veggies

How cool would it be if we were able to scan a tomato at our local supermarket and see where it was grown and when it was picked? This technology may not be far away. A few years ago food producers in the US and Canada joined together to create the Produce Traceability Initiative. The system uses a bar code to track fruits and veggies from field to fork. Right now it is voluntary to participate, but lawmakers are looking at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) passing it into law.

If it passes, the companies selling food in America will have to adopt a tracking system that will be able to track food from farmer to the field, to the picker, the packer, the shipper, the wholesaler, and the shop. All of this would happen within two days if a case of food poisoning is reported.

The tracking system is already available in the form of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. They are tiny chips that emit a stream of digital data when energized by a radio beam. You don’t even need to see the tag to read it. Others want food producers to use an electronic tracking system similar to what Fed Ex uses. The challenge with this is that many different companies handle the food as it travels, unlike one company shipping a package.

The benefits to a tracking system would be mainly for food safety and trackability if there is a contamination outbreak. In addition, consumers like the ability to trace their food back to it’s origin.

Pretty cool technology, huh?

This post, The Produce Traceability Initiative: FDA May Slap RFID Tags On Your Veggies, was originally published on by Brian Westphal.

You may also like these posts

    None Found

Read comments »

Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »

Commented - Most Popular Articles