What Is Food Safety Software?

Aug 25, 2021 8:15:00 AM / by ThinkIQ

Where would the human race be without software? The concept was first explored in the 19th century for the Analytical Engine, then later theorized more formally by Alan Turing in the 1930s. The first piece of software was executed in 1948 on the University of Manchester’s “Manchester Baby” computer. The term “software” itself wasn’t coined until the 1950s. Today, we’ve got software apps in our pockets that overlay strange face-altering filters over our mugs. So what can software do for food safety? Is it as trivial as the latest social network gimmick or is it ground-breaking like the Turing machine?

The Cost Of Poor Food Safety 

The importance of food safety on the survival of the human race can’t be overstated. An estimated 600 million people worldwide fall ill after eating contaminated food. That’s almost one in 10 people. And 420,000 die every year. That is a loss of 33 million healthy life years. The cost: $110 billion is lost each year in productivity and medical expenses tied to unsafe food. Children carry a huge portion of the burden — kids under the age of 5 account for 40 percent of those afflicted with foodborne disease; tragically, 230,000 of them die every year. Diarrheal diseases are the most common of these illnesses, causing 550 million illnesses and 230,000 death each year. And when foodborne diseases strain our healthcare systems, socioeconomic development is stunted, damaging national economies, tourism, and trade. The food supply chain stretches across multiple global borders, so no country is immune to these effects.

One in six Americans fall sick from contaminated food or beverages, and 3,000 die from foodborne illness. Those foodborne illnesses cost us more than $15.6 billion each year here in the States. Further, most foodborne illnesses aren’t associated with recognized outbreaks. In other words, the foods we love often contain bacteria or other germs that make us sick or die.

Food safety software can leverage existing sensors and devices against the latest technological advances to virtually eliminate recalls, significantly increase yield, meet government regulations (such as the FSMA and ISO 22000), and ensure much higher product quality and customer satisfaction. Not to mention, it can save lives.

What Is The Best Food Safety Software 

If food safety software could do anything for the food supply chain, you’d probably have it eliminate recalls. In 2020, the FDA and USDA issued a total of 363 recalls. In fact, recalls fell 44 percent year-over-year in Q2 2020 due to limited regulatory oversight due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recall fluctuations during the year were attributed to an inability to deploy oversight that led to missed food safety issues.

Globally, there are about 28,000 recalls per year, necessitating companies spend $100 billion in warranty reserves. The annual cost of waste and underperforming assets totals $3 trillion per year with another $4 trillion lost in foregone profit. Our manufacturing processes even come with a high environmental impact, leaving a large footprint and excess waste.

Food safety software helps control these hemorrhaging costs by collecting data across the value chain from existing IoT sensors and business systems; identifying material movements, correlations, and roots causes through modeling; creating new, fact-based provenance data; and delivering actionable insights and decisions that guide people to make the value chain smarter. These technological strides create for transformational, continuous intelligence in the form of intelligent correlation of supply chain events, smarter purchasing mapped to inventory needs, and greater integrity in the manufacturing process. In other words, food safety software helps reduce waste, makes smarter procurement, and results in fewer recalls.

Disparate systems can be united using food safety software. OPC, SQL, and SFTP protocols connect HMI/SCADA, PLCs, MES, ERP, and historian systems. Powerful scripting via Anaconda Python, distributed engines that scale as needed, and AI and machine learning with access to industry leading libraries are the building blocks of an analytics and execution engine. Configurable semantic models are made possible with reusable technology that is domain specific.

The end result is the farm-to-fork Digital Manufacturing Transformation SaaS by ThinkIQ. We provide unprecedented traceability with end-to-end real-time movement tracking from raw material to consumer consumption. Our integrated operational controls provide unparalleled insight utilizing digital twins and time series data in a visually rich, innovative UI.

There’s obviously a lot of sophistication that goes into food safety software. Rest assured, the results are tremendous. The ThinkIQ platform has determined correlations between raw materials and finished product, allowing our customers to unify enterprise business practices between the silos of procurement, manufacturing, and quality to reduce raw material costs, COGS, increase manufacturing efficiency, and assure product quality. And we’ve seen these results to the tune of doubled production yield, 99.999 percent recall elimination, and tens of millions of dollars in operational savings.

ThinkIQ may not be the kind of software that makes your kids giggle, but the end result will keep their food safe and uncontaminated. If you’re ready to learn more about how food safety software is a game-changer, contact the experts at ThinkIQ. We also have a new selection guide eBook to help you better understand the questions you should be asking. Download your copy today.


ThinkIQ Guide to Smart Manufacturing

Tags: SMART Manufacturing, Food Safety, Food Safety Software


Written by ThinkIQ

Think IQ

The Industry 4.0 Data Revolution

Proven to improve manufacturing yield, safety, quality, and compliance by making sense of your data.

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