On September 13, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the 12 winners of its New Era of Smarter Food Safety Low- or No-Cost Tech-Enabled Traceability Challenge. The challenge launched on June 1, 2021, and the submission window closed on July 30, 2021; in that time period, there were 90 submissions, with the winning teams hailing from the U.S., Canada, and New Zealand. Submitting teams were from Australia, China, England, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, and Taiwan. 

One goal of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety initiative is to help achieve end-to-end traceability, from source to table, throughout the food safety system. Using new technologies and adding data streams will help advance the widespread, consistent implementation of traceability systems across the food industry. 

The affordability of said technologies, however, particularly for smaller companies, might be a barrier to adopting tech-enabled traceability systems. Accessible tracing solutions are needed to achieve end-to-end food traceability.

The main goal of the challenge was to encourage stakeholders, including technology providers, public health advocates, entrepreneurs, and innovators from all disciplines to develop traceability hardware, software, or data analytics platforms that are low-cost or no-cost to the end user. 

Learn more about the winners and watch the videos they submitted on FDA’s Food Traceability Challenge page.

For comprehensive information on all aspects of the challenge, visit the Results Page at precisionFDA.gov.

FDA will also be hosting a Low- or No-Cost Tech-Enabled Traceability Challenge Webinar on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT. The 12 winning teams will present their solutions and take questions during a live Q&A session.