While the United States has one of the safest food supplies in the world, many foodborne illnesses still occur due to contamination. Because of improper storage and handling methods, foodborne illnesses affect almost 48 million people per year in the United States, with 3,000 of these cases resulting in death. Food contamination claims are not only dangerous and expensive but potentially devastating to a food provider’s reputation and brand. As a result, in 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made its first major reform since 1938 to the way that food is regulated in the United States, by passing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). FSMA gives the FDA the authority to regulate food temperature and handling measures from farm-to-fork, including everything from processing to transportation to storage, right up until sale and consumption. The purpose of the FSMA is to shift the focus of foodborne illnesses from reaction to prevention, in hopes of limiting the number of foodborne illnesses in the United States.
With new preventative controls comes new monitoring procedures, including extensive documentation and necessary control methods.
Monitoring the temperature and humidity of food throughout the entire cold chain process, and ensuring that it stays inside the proper ranges, can be challenging. As a result, Hitachi High Technologies America-Systems Products Division (HTA SPD) has created an environmental monitoring sensor system, called HiQ eSystems®, featuring Avatar technology.
HiQ Systems® Avatars provide an accurate simulant and temperature reading without the need for glycol or the need to open sealed packaging. Avatar technology tracks sensitive inventories every step of the way, from transit to storage and final delivery. HiQ Systems® Avatars record temperature and humidity automatically at all times; send alerts via text, email or call; and protect your perishable assets 24/7, 365. Avatars can match any product’s container size, shape, and composition to keep your most valuable assets safe. The sensors are compliant with FSMA regulations and help ease the transition of full-time monitoring without adding extra time and work.