One of the primary challenges faced by supermarket operators in complying with FSMA Section 204 is the complexity of their supply chains. With numerous suppliers, distributors, and transportation partners involved, tracking the movement of food products from farm to shelf becomes a daunting task. To address this challenge, many supermarkets have invested in advanced technology solutions such as digital record-keeping systems and blockchain technology.

1. Digital record-keeping systems allow supermarkets to maintain comprehensive records of all food-related activities, including sourcing, handling, storage, and transportation. These systems enable real-time data capture, ensuring that critical information is readily accessible in the event of a food safety issue or regulatory inspection. Moreover, digital records are less susceptible to errors and tampering, enhancing the integrity and reliability of the information.

2. Blockchain technology, with its decentralized and immutable ledger, offers another layer of transparency and traceability to the food supply chain. By recording transactions in a secure and transparent manner, blockchain enables stakeholders to track the journey of food products from farm to fork with unparalleled accuracy. Supermarkets leveraging blockchain technology can quickly trace the origin of contaminated products, facilitating targeted recalls and minimizing the impact on public health.

“We see food retailers adopting several new technologies to comply with FSMA 204. Blockchain can give retailers the peace of mind that their data is being stored securely and immutably. Most operational systems store detailed data for only a short period of time,” said Andrew Kennedy, principal traceability advisor for iFoodDS, a food safety management solution provider.

“IoT devices are gaining traction in the food retail sector and provide a way to carry not only FSMA 204 data, but other data critical to product quality and freshness such as temperature and humidity data. Others may adopt new software applications that are purpose-built for capturing and sharing FSMA 204 data during critical tracking events such as shipping, receiving and transformation.”

This article is an excerpt from the April 2024 issue of Supermarket Perimeter. You can read the entire FSMA 204 Best Practices feature and more in the digital edition here.