FoodChain ID, Oracle team up for food safety

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
Dan Ochwat profile picture

A new cloud-based platform has launched to help retailers assess food safety risks within their private brand food products.

FoodChain ID, a leading food safety, testing and sustainability organization, and its HorizonScan database of emerging food threats, has partnered with Oracle Retail to collaborate on developing an integrated system for automatic hazard identification and risk assessment that would be built into the Oracle Retail Brand Compliance Management Cloud Service. FoodChain ID is a member of the Oracle PartnerNetwork.

In short, the tech companies would combine efforts to automate finding potential food safety threats in the HorizonScan system within a retailer’s store brand portfolio, aiming to predict and prevent any food issues that could arise.

"Private brand food products are growing in popularity, and retailers are looking for an efficient and reliable approach to identifying potential food safety threats," said Paul Woodward, senior director retail strategy and solutions management at Oracle Retail. "The HorizonScan database links with product and supplier information in ORBC to provide an integrated solution our clients can take advantage of and depend on."

Woodward shared a guest column with Store Brands in the spring on the risks and rewards of private brands.

A reason the companies came together to address food safety is it is a primary component of the Food Safety Modernization Act that companies must conduct a risk assessment of their ingredients and suppliers to identify and prevent likely hazards. However, the globalization of ingredient sourcing has made it more challenging than ever to accurately identify the latest chemical, biological, and physical risks to each ingredient in the company's supply chain. New problems emerge daily: HorizonScan reported more than 14,000 incidents of supply chain impurities and contaminants in 2019, with more than 3,000 leading to food safety recalls.

"Our surveys show that 85% of companies rely on Internet searches, the FDA database, or self-policing by suppliers as the main way to detect potential threats in their supply chain," said Ron Stakland, senior director of business development for FoodChain ID. "These methods are time-consuming, inefficient, and costly. And worst of all, they're not very effective."

For FoodChain ID’s part, the company had been working with retail clients to test an automated hazard identification and assessment system that leverages AI. The system provides a score based on the severity of HorizonScan threats facing a retailer’s store brand product, and retailers can move on the most severe threats.

Stakland said based on many retailers already using Oracle’s platform, the company reached out to Oracle to partner up. "They immediately recognized how transformative and beneficial this could be for their clients," he said. "As a result of these discussions, we are very pleased to announce that FoodChain ID has now partnered with Oracle to offer automated hazard assessment as a fully integrated feature within the ORBC platform."

Oracle Retail and FoodChain ID will be jointly hosting a free webinar to describe the new solution on October 27.