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Exporters rising to the challenge of FSMA

The US Food Safety Modernization Act has been deigned to protect public health against the outbreak of food related illness, by furthering good food safety practice across the supply chain.

There's good reason for the legislation - statistics show that up to 50 million people in the US get food related illnesses per year. Of these, 130,000 are hospitalised and 3,000 die.

Due to fact that the US is a big importer as well as exporter, this act has caused a stir globally. For the first time there is a requirement that all fresh produce on sale in the US to be fully traceable from the farm to point of sale.

The sort of system exporters are turning to, in order to meet the challenge of the FSMA is Intelleflex's XC3 Technology. XC3 Technology based readers and tags provide supplier range performance (100m or more), the ability to penetrate packaging to monitor and manage the condition of a product - as opposed to the ambient temperature on the outside of a package - sensor support for other conditions and track and trace capabilities directly on the tag and in the "cloud" as it travels with the product from production through to the retailer. Never before have exporters been given such clear intelligence regarding their supply chain.

The FSMA, was, as may have been anticipated, quickly viewed as a troublesome obstacle by some exporters. However, there are those who seen the act as a more positive event, as an opportunity to streamline operational processes.

Europen exporters, for example, are turning to RFID tags to monitor temperatures and provide a traceability solution.

Although recent studies show clearly that Europe is leading the way in incorporating traceability processes, Asia, and China in particular, are seizing the FSMA as an opportunity to utilise the latest technology and carry out an internal audit in their supply chain.

There are other benefits too - pro-actively monitoring and managing the temperature of products in the cold chain can drastically reduce the amount of food wastage. It has been suggested that, over time, the additional revenue gained in this fashion, more than covers the costs of the XC3 solution.

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