Global Technology Resources introduces revolutionary food safety system
Tuesday, December 9, 2003
Mississippiâ€"based Global Technology Resources (GTR) has launched a revolutionary new system designed to detect, track and manage food safety threats across the supply chain. Combining patented Web-based global positioning system (GPS) technology with radio frequency identification (RFID), GTRâ€™s system is the first solution of its kind to provide early detection of disease, food borne pathogens and contamination. It offers real-time information and tracking of food assets globally, for immediate identification and response to an existing problem. GTRâ€™s system also helps companies meet the requirements of the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 and the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) Act.
â€śTo protect consumersâ€™ health, it is vitally important to know where particular shipments of meats, vegetables and other products originated and where theyâ€™ve been,â€ť said Paul Cheek, president of Global Technology Resources. â€śOur system provides a key line of defense in the event of a crisis. If contamination does occur, whether it is intentional or unintentional, we can pinpoint where contaminants entered the supply chain and isolate the problem.â€ť
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that there are approximately 60,000 documented incidents of contaminated food in the U.S. each year. Less than one percent of the food imported into the U.S. undergoes any type of inspection â€" leaving what many call an open door to terrorists. Additionally, there is no existing national emergency technical management system for animal health related diseases.
The GTR system tracks food from the point of origin throughout the production and distribution channel, ending with the consumerâ€™s table. The system catalogs products at various points along the supply chain, including farm, ranch, processing plants, transport vehicles, storage facilities, supermarkets and restaurants. If an incident of contamination is reported in the supply chain, information on the origin and destination of dangerous product is automatically located.
Using meat contaminated with E.coli as an example, the GTR system starts from the point of contamination and traces the meat back to the distributor, then to the grinder, slaughter facility, sales yard and eventually to the farm where the animal started from.
â€śThe system provides an audit trail of everything that has happened to the meat,â€ť said Cheek.
â€śWorking with a major fast food company supply chain for the past year, weâ€™ve been able to develop a patented Web-based program that can trace back contaminated hamburger meat to the source in ten minutes. In all the major recalls this year it has been extremely hard for the processor to effectively trace back its entire product. This is evident by the massive recalls we have seen.â€ť
In the case of fast food chains, the GTR system can give an immediate satellite image of the store and its surrounding market (immediate damage control), trace the product back through the supply chain, immediately identifying what point in the supply chain tampering may have occurred, isolate the problem, dispatch mitigation teams, provide a third party verification of product for litigation, and identify who is responsible for the problem.
The GTR system employs several innovative technologies and uses a wide variety of real-time information to assess contamination situations, analyze data and allow graphic interpretation of the crisis situation. The technologies employed by the GTR system include:
biosensors for packaging (intelligent tags that capture and identify known pathogens, and allows for rapid detection);
RFID technology (radio frequency identification devices that use radio waves to automatically identify physical items in varying proximity to machine â€śreadersâ€ť which can uniquely identify them at the ship, truck, container, pallet or unique item level);
spatial technology (GPS/GIS technology for immediate location of items and tracking wind patterns in the event of an air-borne pathogen);
and satellite capabilities for immediate isolation and real-time pictures of problem areas.
From food processors, restaurants, fast food chains and grocery stores to insurers, the GTR system is a valuable deterrent and can minimizes the social, economic and environmental costs associated with an outbreak for each organization across the supply chain.
About Global Technology Resources
Global Technology Resources (GTR) is a U.S. based spatial technology company that specializes in the development and implementation of risk mitigation technology for global commercial business and government use. The company and its subsidiaries develop technology for use in the bioterrorism, food safety, and disease detection mitigation areas. More information about GTR can be found at www.gtechresources.com.
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