Monitoring the Food Chain with RFID Labels

Reducing Food Scandals with RFID Labels

© Photo FhG IZM

Radio Frequency Identification Tags with Built-in Sensor Technology

Food scandals continue to be a common occurrence. These include rotten meat, glycol in wine, and worms in fish. Many people still remember the 2011 dioxin scandal that erupted in Germany after animal feed had contaminated thousands of eggs with toxic dioxin.  Scandals like this one always call for more control and better monitoring procedures in the food industry. Therefore, in order to disclose future food scandals faster or even avoid them completely, researchers at Fraunhofer Institute are working to develop new kinds of technology. 

How advanced is today’s technology?

Currently, almost all plastic containers used for transporting meat and fish are identified by paper labels in order to trace where the product was along the entire food chain. However, paper labels often go missing or become unreadable. When this happens, the food products in these plastic containers become impossible to clearly identify. Another downside to paper labels is that they are not able to detect when a cooler or freezer is interrupted that is storing easily perishable food products.