Edible Bar Codes on Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner

Edible Bar Codes on Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner

September 29, 2018

Soon you can aim your smart-phone at a piece of beef and have an app display the meat’s entire history, such as where it was raised, what it was fed, and when and where it was processed.

A new electronic etching procedure developed by Pricewaterhouse Coopers creates an invisible, edible barcode made of non-toxic silicon dioxide.  At first, tags will be embedded in the beef’s primary packaging only, but eventually even individual steaks could be tagged.

The technology will be launched first in Australia and China in the upcoming year.  Such measures will help protect branded names for beef as well as keep food supplies safer for consumers, using the new technology to avoid repeats of multiple past food fraud incidents.

This post is based on the Herald Scotland article, Rog Wood: Hi-tech ways to tell us where our food comes from , by Rog Wood, September 3, 2018; and the Telegraph article, Fake steaks to be exposed by invisible barcode scannable on smart-phones, by Henry Bodkin, August 13, 2018. Image source: Image Source/GIPhotoStock.

Discussion Questions:

1. How will the use of invisible barcodes make the supply chain for meat more transparent?

Guidance: In Continue reading

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Increasing the Pace of Food Recalls

Increasing the Pace of Food Recalls

August 20, 2018

Over the past two months, more contaminated products like Ritz crackers, Swiss rolls, and McDonald’s salads, have been recalled than in the ten years prior.

This dramatic change, however, does not necessarily mean the safety of our nation’s food supply has rapidly declined; rather, the use of rapid, carefully tracked recalls as a preventive measure has increased.


Video Spotlight:FDA food recall delays could put people at risk


Check out related OM in the News posts about food recalls for lettuce, pre-cut melons and veggie trays, and the cost of recalls in the food supply chain.

This post is based on the Becker’s Hospital Review article, FDA, CDC food recalls climb, by Harrison Cook, July 30, 2018; and a YouTube video, FDA food recall delays could put people at risk, by CBS Evening News, December 26, 2017. Image source: karandaev © 123RF.com.

Discussion Questions:

1.  What accounts for the sudden increase in the number of recalls?

Guidance: This sudden uptick in the number of recalls may in part be in response to previous reports claiming that the government agencies had been far too slow in initiating recalls for food products that Continue reading

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