Skip to main content

Foodborne Illness Outbreaks:
Foodborne illnesses have been a significant public health concern globally, with millions of cases reported each year. They are generally caused by consuming contaminated food or beverages and result from bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year in the United States alone, there are approximately 48 million cases of foodborne illness, leading to 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.

New Challenges Continue to Emerge:
Significant progress has been made in food safety practices and regulations, but other factors are now contributing to the risk of foodborne illness outbreaks. These include the globalization of the food supply chain and the emergence of new pathogens or strains of existing ones. Climate change, bioterrorism concerns, population growth and urbanization can also impact food safety by affecting agricultural practices, food production and distribution.

Regulatory Response:
Governments and regulatory agencies worldwide are continuously working to improve food safety standards and regulations. These efforts aim to prevent, detect and respond to foodborne illness outbreaks more effectively.

In 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), published the Food Traceability Final Rule, implementing FSMA Section 204. Its intent is to help ensure the safety of the food supply, emphasizing prevention, risk-based strategies and stronger collaboration among government agencies, food industry stakeholders and public health organizations. Businesses must be prepared to comply with FSMA 204 regulations by January 20, 2026.

Limitations of Traditional Food Traceability Methods:
Traditional methods, reliant on manual tracking and limited data capture, present clear limitations in today’s complex food supply chains.

The Power of Technology in Food Safety Assurance:
New technology methods are revolutionizing the way the industry approaches tracking and monitoring food products throughout the supply chain. Innovations like machine vision, real-time tracking, enhanced data analysis, temperature sensors, advanced data recording and timely alerts are reshaping food traceability, delivering unparalleled benefits to the industry.

How Two Industry Leaders Revolutionize Food Industry Together:
For over 26 years, American Barcode and RFID (AB&R®) and Zebra Technologies have forged a strong partnership, built on mutual trust, shared commitment to excellence and a common vision for the future of food safety and transparency. By combining their respective strengths, they provide customers with unmatched expertise and support, ensuring seamless implementation and ongoing optimization of the selected traceability solution. Here is how they achieve results:

Zebra Technologies provides a flexible, intuitive and completely automated solution that drives operation efficiency. The Zebra Machine Vision portfolio offers field-proven solutions that empower customers with speed and precision. Machine Vision combined with temperature sensors have the potential to transform food traceability, improving manufacturing defect detection by up to 90%. This solution automates data capture
and streamlines record-keeping for critical tracking events (CTEs) mandated by FISMA 204.

Together, AB&R® and Machine Vision by Zebra enable:

Combined Benefits Include:

Solution Components At-a-Glance:

Interested in learning more about how to improve safety in your food production supply chain and be better prepared to comply with FSMA 204 regulations? An expert from AB&R® will be happy to help you.