( File photo )

The Food and Drug Administration has scheduled a public meeting on its New Era of Smarter Food Safety campaign.

The all-day meeting is set for Oct. 21 at the Hilton Washington, D.C./Rockville Hotel & Executive Meeting Center in Rockville, Md. Details of the meeting, including registration, will be announced in September, according to an FDA notice.

The FDA announced the New Era plan on April 30, following a spring 2018 E. coli outbreak linked to Yuma, Ariz., romaine lettuce. After the investigation, then-FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb in November said traceability efforts were hampered by paper records, some of them handwritten.

The New Era of Smarter Food Safety campaign focuses on traceability, digital technology and evolving food business models, according to the FDA’s April announcement.

“The use of new and evolving digital technologies may play a pivotal role in tracing the origin of a contaminated food to its source in minutes, or even seconds, instead of days or weeks, when contamination does occur,” according to the statement.

It’s likely that using Blockchain technology to rapidly trace the fresh produce through the supply chain and ultimately the grower or even the field will be one of the traceability solutions proposed by the FDA.

“We strongly encourage the leafy greens industry to adopt traceability best practices and state-of-the-art technologies to help assure quick and easy access to key data elements from farm to fork,” Gottlieb said in the November statement.

Related stories:

FDA calls for 'New Era of Food Safety'

FDA: Romaine surveillance, testing program on the way

FDA releases Arizona romaine sampling results

 
 
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