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transit time to the final destination and
the need at the final destination.”
Previously, growers provided
discounts to push ripened product, but
the use of Io T devices now enables
them to gain a greater amount of
control over the ripening, in turn
giving them more time to locate
suitable demand, he said.
“This information could also be
made available to consumers, so they
can understand where their products
have originated from with certainty.”
Using Io T within the food supply
chain can help insurance companies
better track the sources of food when
a claim arises, said Richard Bladek,
national underwriting manager of food
and beverage at Starr Cos. in Chicago.
The use of Io T would help identify
the food manufacturer and processor,
especially if there are multiple
manufacturers and processors used for
a single product.
IOT IN UNDERWRITING
From an underwriting perspective,
Io T helps carriers determine whether
clients have safe processes in place,
and enables them to address potential
issues early, Bladek said.
Io T can also help track
contaminated items before they get
into a food product and are passed on
to the general public.
“As Io T evolves, I envision it will
help us proactively prevent foodborne
contamination from happening
altogether,” he said.
“As underwriters, we’re analyzing
data constantly. We could use this
information to help insureds manage
their business through loss control.
… The data derived from [Io T] could
enhance our capabilities internally to
help our insured prevent losses from
Some farms are using Io T sensors
to track climate and weather to
improve crop yields, said Leslie T.
Krasny, a partner in the San Francisco
office of Keller and Heckman LLP.
The use of radio frequency
identification can locate food in transit
and reroute shipments for efficiency,
such as when there are hurricanes,
snowstorms or landslides, she said.
This can allow for the purchase
of replacements to meet customer
There are cameras with software
that can help detect foreign
materials in foods during processing,
and significant variations from
specifications, which could prevent
adverse health effects, damage to
corporate reputation, and product loss.
Io T is a tool with great potential
for food supply chains, but it will make
the liability equation within the supply
chain more complex, said Christopher
G. Van Gundy, another Keller and
If food transported in a refrigerated
truck with automated temperature
control arrives spoiled at its
destination, the device manufacturer
could be an additional source of
liability, Van Gundy said. Questions
could arise about whether the device
was set and functioned correctly, and
“This could create a dilemma for
companies that want [enough data] to
monitor their pathogen situation, but
don’t want to draw the attention of
[the] FDA to potential problems that
may not exist.”&
KATIE HEBERT is a freelance writer
based in California. She can be reached at
who bore responsibility for that task.
Io T devices in the supply chain also
can increase regulatory compliance
liability, he said.
“Regulators like the FDA might
start requiring that companies show
them their data to determine if they
are in compliance with food safety
regulations, such as tracking data for
pathogens,” Van Gundy said.