A recent E.coli outbreak tied to romaine lettuce has sent shock waves through the food supply chain. Not only did it result in millions of dollars in losses for growers, retailers, restaurants, and shippers, but it was also linked to a national food poisoning outbreak. Unfortunately, the outbreak led to five deaths and 197 sicknesses. So what led to the dangerous E.coli outbreak, and how did it affect the food supply chain?
The Impact of the Romaine Lettuce E.Coli Outbreak
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), romaine grown in Yuma, Arizona likely became contaminated from nearby cattle manure, which led to E.Coli, O157:H7, a deadly strain that damages the lining of blood vessels. For farmers, retailers, drivers, and consumers, that meant abandoning the popular lettuce. The U.S. Department of Agriculture claims that prices for romaine have decreased nearly 60 percent since April. Unfortunately, it may take months before sales of romaine recover from the deadly outbreak.
Improving Cold Chain Traceability
Traceability has now evolved from a mundane cold chain subject matter to a consumer interest. Unfortunately, tracking down the source of the contamination has been a challenging process. While health officials identified Harrison Farms as one source, they have not been able to pinpoint the path of the lettuce that made people ill in other states, despite FSMA laws.
Improving Food Safety
To improve food safety, the cold chain must have a strong chain of data. New technologies provide the shipper, carrier, and receiver a view of every transaction of the shipment, from start to finish. Plus, smart devices have made downloading and displaying in-transit temperature data more convenient and reliable. They can save companies hours of data entry and labor costs. Best of all, it helps keep the food you’re shipping fresh and safe.
Contact Cargo Data Today
If you would like more information on how real-time temperature monitoring can reduce food spoilage and keep you FSMA compliant, give us a call at (800) 338-8134. Our temperature recorders are a reliable and affordable way for shippers, carriers, and receivers to ensure that their food products are stored and transported within the proper temperature requirements.