Which of these statements is true?
- Half of the fresh fruit we eat in the USA comes from outside of the country.
- 86% of the shrimp, salmon, tilapia and other fish we consume comes from outside of the USA.
- About 25% of our orange juice is imported into the USA.
The answer is “all of the above”. According to a recent article by Christina Rexrode of the Associated Press, America’s desire for food produced overseas is growing. The USDA states that 16.8% of the food in the USA is imported, up from 11.3% two decades ago.
Why? Several reasons are cited including improved communications and transportation systems but, in many cases, it’s simply cheaper to produce food abroad where wages are often lower and there are fewer environmental regulations. There’s also a shift in America’s food preferences due to increasing immigration. Add to that the fact that Americans want their favorite foods all year around meaning that berries, spinach and other produce have to be imported during the winter months.
What are the implications for food quality and safety? Time and temperature equal freshness and proper handling and storage in transit helps to prevent spoilage and the growth of human pathogens. To help ensure quality and safety, it’s critical to monitor and document the temperature of produce every step of the way, especially if the product is spending extended time in transit aboard container ships, airplanes or trucks. And, it’s important that a comprehensive history of the product is recorded and stored with the product in the event of a recall.
Wireless, in-transit temperature monitoring solutions address these needs in a cost effective manner. You can learn more here.
Senior Director of Marketing