Artificial Intelligence Opportunities to Improve Food Safety at Retail

Adam Friedlander, Claire Zoellner

Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 40, no. 4, pp. 272-278, Jul 2020

Volume 40, Issue 4: Pages 272–278

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Food retailers drive food safety programs throughout the supply chain, within their stores, and across e-commerce platforms to mitigate the risk of foodborne illness for consumers. Delivery of food safety from the producer through retail requires strong food safety culture, reliable data, robust database management, and technical expertise. Artificial intelligence (AI) has been proposed for its potential to advance and transform food safety practices and outcomes. This article aims to introduce AI terminology and definitions to a food safety audience and to outline the opportunities, challenges, and ethical considerations when adopting AI-based technologies at retail. For food safety at retail, the applications of AI presented here are categorized as vision, text, interactive, analytical, or functional-based solutions. As AI capabilities continue to develop, food safety professionals will have a role in shaping the tools and algorithms that are adopted across the food industry, including at the retail sector. AI can strengthen food safety but, to be successful, will require strategic collaborations across the supply chain, including with technology providers, regulators, and academics.

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