University of California

Abstracts by Category

Creating a Safe Produce Supply: Traceability

Todd Baggett (CEO of RedLine Solutions, co-chair of the PTI Technology working group and author of Produce Traceability For Dummies®)

Today consumers expect that the produce industry has the capability to track any fresh produce back to its source. However is this really the case? In this session we will answer that question and explore the state of produce traceability past, present, and future.

The E. coli outbreak in 2006 was the 9/11 of the produce industry. Consumers were getting sick, three died, and the FDA identified spinach as the culprit. However, the FDA was unable to quickly trace the contamination back to the source farm, so they issued an industry-wide spinach warning leading retailers and restaurants to remove all spinach from sale. Ten years later, spinach consumption in the US has still not returned to the volumes sold prior to the outbreak. This wakeup call for the produce industry led to action on multiple fronts:

  • In 2008 leading retailers, growers, and three of the largest industry trade associations introduced the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI)
  • Many forms of legislation, including 2011’s Food Safety Modernization Act, were introduced to improve food safety and protect consumers.

Produce traceability is essential to expedited recall of contaminated food, keeping the consumer and the industry healthy. However for produce traceability to function effectively, retailers, grower- shippers, and the FDA all need to be on the same page. So is our produce supply chain safer in 2015? Come hear PTI Technology Working Group Co-Chair, Todd Baggett, provide an insider view into produce traceability.

Click here to download a pdf of the presentation

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