Food Supply and Terrorist Threat

Outgoing U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services, Tommy Thompson, said that he was surprised that terrorists had not yet targeted the nation’s food supply. Thus far, the supply chain in the food industry has rarely been the big concern. However, with increased terrorist activities around the world, terrorists targeting the vulnerable food supply chain could create panic. In Mr. Thompson’s words, “For the life of me, I can not understand why the terrorists have not, you know, attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do.”

To minimize such an attack, the FDA recently announced a new regulation requiring the food industry to create in-depth, detailed, shipping and receiving information within 24 hours’ notice. In Europe, beginning January, all manufacturers are required to comply with the tough traceability regulations. Complying with such regulations will not be easy and has initiated new high-tech solutions for traceability. There is a need for greater understanding of the ways in which effective traceability can be implemented – the technologies, their abilities and the standards that are required in various markets. One possible solution is SupplySynch, a software program developed by Operations Technologies to offset the cost of complying with the new standards with automated real-time data tracking and documentation.