Reggie Brown Florida Tomato Assoc Gave Harvard Report


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Presentation regarding Produce Traceability as presented to FDA & FSIS on December 9 & 10, 2009 in Washington, D.C.

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Reggie Brown Florida Tomato Assoc Gave Harvard Report

  1. 1. Harvard’s Executive Session on Food Safety Investigating Geospatial Traceability of the Fresh Tomato Supply Chain
  2. 2. • Over the summer, fall, and winter of 2008, summer fall 2008 Harvard invited Federal, state and industry food safety officials to explore issues in the y p traceback, meeting in Cambridge with faculty and leading technology firms. The questions posed to the group were: – What was affecting performance? – What might be some solutions? – What steps might industry and government take p g y g next, together, collaborating to improve overall performance?
  3. 3. • Industry often claimed it had data that could help government. Government had authority to investigate. Could industry and government collaborate to leverage their respective assets, transform the traceback process, and improve the nations’ food safety performance? p yp • Several questions loomed. • Did industry have the data it claimed? y • Could government use such data – acquire it, make sense of it, act on it? • How would having that data enable regulators to expedite investigations, and better allocate investigative resources?
  4. 4. • E of use Ease f – Can industry submit data that will support trace back investigations with relative ease? • Illumination of supply chain – Can government and industry working together illuminate the supply chain to support trace-back decision making? trace back • Expedite investigations – Can collaboration expedite an investigation to suspect supply chains? • Collaborative Platform – Can industry and government makes sense of the data? y g
  5. 5. • A two week window was selected, from November 1 – November 14, 2008 , – Both Open and Closed Systems to be tested • Traceability data collected included: – Growers and shippers (CTF and FTE) – Closed Systems (Darden Restaurants) –RRepackers k – Distribution Centers – POS
  6. 6. Data C ll i D Collection: • Using existing available software – Famous and DataTech as examples p » Download into FDA reviewed spreadsheet for submission to Microsoft and TIBCO for processing • Data collected included: – Physical Locations – Blue Book # – Lot ID for each transaction – Product type/descriptions Pr d t t p /d ripti n – Ship and Receive dates – Quantities shipped – Quantities received – Repack Runs
  7. 7. Lot ID Based Data Collection The Simplified Database
  8. 8. The Results • Industry leaders succeeded in gathering complete data from some portions of the supply chains, though not all. • Technologists learned that they could bring all this data into alignment using off-the-shelf spreadsheet software. They learned that they could apply advanced visualization technologies and illuminate the flow of produce down to the lot level and even when repacked, through these various industry supply chains. ppl h in
  9. 9. The Results Further, the data and visualizations appeared to be of a kind which could assist government to rapidly test its investigative hypotheses, hypotheses perhaps (it was considered at the time) clearing excludable swaths of industry quickly while not waiting for the full traceback to complete, and permitting government to concentrate resources on the non-excludable supply chains, driving hard to the ultimate source of contamination.
  10. 10. With Cooperation and Active Communications We can have an efficient and effective way to provide large volumes of information in a visual format to expedite traceback • The data exists • The system for visualization is possible • It is cost effective • Requires minimum investment q
  11. 11. For Consideration Even in cases in which the “epi” investigation implicates a sale from a mom/pop retailer or restaurant, considerable /p p , time can be shaved off the traceback if industry stands ready to illuminate its supply chains on a trace-forward basis from the farm as far forward as possible (including secondary and tertiary di ib i ) From there, it can “wait” for the top- i distribution). F h i “ i”f h down investigation to reach it. Having manually traced back to that point, government investigators might then use industry s industry’s illuminated supply chains to rapidly conclude the traceback through the illuminated segments of the chain, and then traceforward. This might save considerable time and avoid unnecessary illness and losses to industry. y y