Aggroed Business Plan Contest - Prevent Food Poisoning
Using Blockchain to Prevent Food Poisoning
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What if we had a tracking system of products at the food processing level all the way to the consumer? If you purchase the food from a grocer and there is a recall, you could have a database that could be used to notify consumers of that product. It seems now the notifications come in through the news and you have to go through and manually check to see if you have the specific barcodes and sell by dates on your food that is recalled. While it may be too difficult to get all food processors on board at the beginning, perhaps one major grocer or large food co-op could pioneer this tracking system and use their customer loyalty program to notify the recalls. This could be something that is paid for by the grocer and sold to the consumer as a way to protect their health. The cost per consumer must be very minimal, but could build a lot of revenue when scaled up.
In case you were wondering how big of an issue this is, look at this data according to a Center for Disease Control study:
"We summed illness attributable to foodborne gastroenteritis caused by known and unknown pathogens, yielding an estimate of 76 million illnesses, 318,574 hospitalizations, and 4,316 deaths. Adding to these figures the nongastrointestinal illness caused by Listeria, Toxoplasma, and hepatitis A virus, we arrived at a final national estimate of 76 million illnesses, 323,914 hospitalizations, and 5,194 deaths each year." 
If what we have in place is working so well, we would not have numbers this high related to food poisoning. This data is taking in all food-related consumption, not specifically recalled foods from grocers, but the point is that a significant change can and should be made to prevent the consumption of unsafe foods.
My vision is to have an opt-in tracking system of purchased foods and a notification system of recalls. Rather than relying on the news to inform you of possible food poisoning concerns, an app on your phone could be used to warn you to throw away any affected products.
A team would need to be assembled that is capable of pitching the concept to grocers and food processors and a team would need to be able to take the current bar code data used to track food and make it accessible to the consumer. The plan is that in the next 3 months, we can have a small scale proof of concept to present to a grocer or small co-op and show how our system can help prevent the spread of illnesses. The budget to start this is $10,000. This would mostly be used to pay for software developers to create an efficient system to code food products, create a database, and an app to notify consumers. This product could then be sold or integrated into a larger grocery chain's customer loyalty program.
 Mead, P. S., Slutsker, L., Dietz, V., McCaig, L. F., Bresee, J. S., Shapiro, C....Tauxe, R. V. (1999). Food-Related Illness and Death in the United States. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 5(5), 607-625. https://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid0505.990502.