FDA to Launch Technology Traceability Challenge

By Food Safety Tech Staff
1 Comment

The initiative seeks traceability tools that can be scalable and cost-effective for food operations regardless of size.

The FDA is asking technology providers, entrepreneurs and innovators to come forward and develop traceability technology tools that are scalable and affordable for food operations of all sizes. The FDA New Era of Smarter Food Safety Low or No-Cost Tech-enabled Traceability Challenge will launch on June 1.

“Achieving end-to-end food traceability will involve everyone in the supply chain – from source to table. To achieve that level of participation, we need accessible tracing solutions for human and animal food companies of all sizes. That means that we must help ensure that even small companies can use and benefit from new tracing technologies,” said Frank Yiannas, deputy commissioner for food policy and response at FDA, in an agency blog post. “Digitizing data at no or low cost through the use of creative financial models may allow the entire food system to get smarter together.”

The challenge will be administered by precisionFDA and overseen by the agency’s Office of Food Policy and Response. On June 1 at 8 am ET, the FDA’s pre-registration page will be updated with the submission information. The deadline for the challenge is July 30 at 5 pm ET.

Up to 12 winners will be selected and although there is no cash prize, the winners will have the chance to discuss their technology solution during an FDA public forum. “The food industry will gain new insights into how to solve traceability challenges, and the FDA will open the door to a conversation about finding new ways to overcome obstacles in the road to farm-to-fork traceability,” stated Yiannas.

The challenge is part of the goals outlined in the FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety blueprint, which specifies tech-enabled traceability as a core element.

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  1. Greg

    It is a little late for such a program now. This should have been pushed long before the new traceability requirements were put in place. All the new regulations, mountains of documentation for food safety and traceability is a lot for small business to deal with. Especially when it all is one size fits all and is very daunting for a small business to do when there are not dedicated departments let alone dedicated staff for these tasks. Pushing the industry to look at ideas and tools now for how to manage these requirements should have been pushed before roll out. These requirements are an incredible expense to small business and there has been little to no help.

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