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    April 30, 2024

    Trustwell Reflects on the FDA’s Virtual Public Meeting: Data and Technology in the New Era of Smarter Food Safety

    In a world where food safety and technology increasingly intersect, the FDA's recent Virtual Public Meeting on "Data and Technology in the New Era of Smarter Food Safety" showcased the critical role of technological advancements in shaping the future of our food systems. This meeting brought together experts, stakeholders, and industry leaders to discuss how data-driven strategies and technological solutions can be employed to ensure a safer, more efficient, and transparent food supply chain. 

    Meeting Objectives: Enhancing Food Safety Through Technology

    The primary aim of the meeting was to improve the FDA's understanding of current and potential uses of data and technology to advance food safety. This initiative is part of a broader FDA strategy to incorporate more digital, traceable, and safer food systems in line with the New Era of Smarter Food Safety initiative launched in 2019. By hosting this event, the FDA sought to gather insights from industry leaders, technology innovators, and other stakeholders to shape the future of food safety. 

    Key Topics Discussed: Advancing Traceability and Data Standards

    The discussions addressed critical topics essential for advancing food safety: 

    • Tech-Enabled Traceability: Enhancing traceability systems is crucial for quickly identifying and managing contaminated food products, thereby mitigating public health threats and economic losses.
    • Data Standards and Interoperability: Highlighting the importance of adopting universal data standards to ensure seamless communication across different platforms and stakeholders in the food supply chain.   
    • Educational Initiatives and Stakeholder Engagement: The FDA’s commitment to providing more virtual meetings and educational resources to help stakeholders navigate the complexities of implementing advanced technology in food safety processes.

    Enhancing Food Safety Through Technology: Insights from Trustwell’s Leaders 

    The meeting featured a roster of influential voices, including Jim Jones, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Human Food, and other notable FDA officials such as Mark Moorman and Adam Friedlander. From the private sector, Trustwell's own Katy Jones, CEO, and Julie McGill, VP of Supply Chain Strategy and Insights, contributed their expertise on tech-enabled traceability and the practical applications of data in food safety management. 

    A consensus emerged on the need for continued collaboration between technology providers and food industry stakeholders to foster a unified approach to food safety. The dialogue underscored the critical role of technology in driving improvements in food safety, from enhancing traceability to facilitating faster responses during food recalls. 

    Katy Jones CEO of Trustwell, shared a powerful narrative that underscored the personal stakes involved in advancing food safety technologies. As a mother of a child with severe allergies, Katy’s perspective is deeply personal. She illustrated how Trustwell is at the forefront of integrating technology to enhance food safety, emphasizing that "technology and data standards are vital lifelines that can protect consumers and enhance the integrity of our food supply chain." Katy highlighted the successful tracking of nearly 200 million critical tracking events (CTEs) globally, demonstrating the effectiveness of Trustwell's technology in real-world applications.


    Katy Jones
    CEO, Trustwell

    Listen to Katy's Comments

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    Julie McGill, VP of Supply Chain Strategy and Insights, addressed the operational challenges and opportunities within the current traceability systems. She pointed out that while many companies capture the necessary data for traceability, the systems often remain siloed or paper-based. Julie’s call to action included a plea for the FDA to continue its educational efforts and to spearhead initiatives that facilitate seamless data exchange across platforms. Her vision for a digitally integrated food safety system emphasizes inclusivity and efficiency, enabling all players in the food industry to benefit from technological advancements.


    Julie McGill
    Supply Chain Strategy & Insights, Trustwell

    Listen to Julie's Comments


    The Future of Food Safety: Strategic Insights and Next Steps

    The insights from Katy and Julie during the meeting highlighted the importance of not only embracing technological innovations but also fostering an environment where these tools can be effectively utilized across the entire food supply chain. Their contributions underline Trustwell's commitment to leading the charge in adopting and developing technologies that ensure food safety and compliance, while also advocating for industry-wide cooperation and standardization. 

    As we look to the future, the discussions from the FDA’s virtual meeting serve as a critical reminder of the ongoing need for collaboration between regulatory bodies, technology providers, and food industry stakeholders. Together, we can achieve a safer, more transparent food system that benefits everyone from farm to fork. 

    Trustwell remains dedicated to supporting these advancements and ensuring that technology continues to evolve as a fundamental component of food safety strategy, safeguarding our health and well-being. 

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