How Cryptocurrency’s Blockchain Technology Can Help Keep Your Food Safe
Listeria outbreaks, salmonella scares and E.coli recalls have plagued the food industry for decades. Food safety is a global concern as produce is imported from around the world. Despite the best efforts of producers and suppliers, contaminated food makes people sick every year, resulting in product waste and huge financial losses. Now supermarket chain Auchan is using blockchain technology championed by TE-FOOD to keep food safe.
Last year’s E.coli outbreak saw the first case reported on October 8th but the farm responsible for the outbreak was only identified on November 26th. The delay meant that more than 50 consumers got ill and resulted in stores and farmers incurring high profit losses while customers were put at greater risk. Blockchain technology has the potential to help with traceability so that any safety issues can be resolved quickly, reducing waste and improving safety for consumers.
Auchan is the 13th largest supermarket chain in the world. They are attempting to make their food safer by implementing a food traceability program that is based on the blockchain technology made famous by cryptocurrencies. The program works by providing a QR code for each product. Consumers can scan the code with their mobile devices to see where the product comes from. The QR code will also indicate whether the product comes from an organic farm
The chain will introduce the system to France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Senegal after a successful 18-month trial in Vietnam. The TE-FOOD blockchain program utilizes the FoodChain blockchain ledger to ensure that information provided by suppliers is authentic.
Research shows that 75% of consumers would switch brands if they were able to obtain detailed product information. Concern for food safety and carbon footprints mean consumers are interested in learning more about product origins.
Blockchain offers transparency and traceability for consumers. Products can now be tracked in transit so that consumers can know the origins of products and distributors can reduce the instances of fraud and product tampering. When issues do occur, the source of contamination or tampering can be easily and quickly identified which reduces the risk to consumers.
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