The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sees food safety as a prime issue. So much so that on Jan. 4, 2011, then-President Barack Obama signed into law the Food Safety Modernization Action (FSMA), a ruling designed to shift the focus from responding to food contamination to preventing it. When this article was written, 2017 was hailed as the year of FSMA compliance. It also became the year the industry began to eye the Internet of Things (IoT) as a means of keeping food safe. This article showcases Ronnie Wendt’s ability to turn a technical topic into one understood by all.
Consumers already employ the IoT in their homes to turn on the lights, adjust the temperature and in using high-tech appliances that alert them when they need milk or when the wash is dry. But the IoT has the power to transform more than just how people live, it also can enable the food and beverage industry to monitor shipments in real time to ensure products are always stored at the right temperature and are fresh and safe for consumers to eat.
One technology poised to take the IoT world by storm; especially in the food and beverage industry, is Roambee’s Bee, which is a portable wireless locator packed with a variety of sensors. This GSM tracker is essentially a mini circuit board that houses sensors designed to monitor shock and vibration, temperature, humidity, tampering and more. The device contains a global SIM that enables customers to monitor shipments locally as well as globally. The device then collects this data in real time and connects it to various back-end devices, such as an ERP solution from SAP. The system enables the company to set rules based on the data coming in to make shipping decisions. This technology takes 5,000 to 10,000 alerts about a shipment, and then, using rules defined in advance, trims that number to only those that require action.
IoT data from the Bee can help companies forecast better. If a company is shipping avocadoes from South Africa to the United States, it’s important to monitor the CO2 being released by the produce to manage the ripening process. Though there are many sensors that provide this information, there needs to be a dashboard that explains what the readings mean. The Bee provides that dashboard.