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Category: News

Walmart Will Track Veggies On The Blockchain After An Epic Lettuce Scare

Health officials, who are looking at how to apply blockchain technology to public health issues, consulted with Walmart on improving food supply traceability.

After hundreds of people in the US became ill after eating contaminated romaine lettuce earlier this year, Walmart, along with many other food retailers and restaurants, pulled the potentially tainted produce from their shelves after regulators issued a warning. The company says the outbreak could have been stemmed sooner if there were a faster and easier way to trace what people had eaten.

Walmart thinks blockchain technology could be the solution. The big-box company worked for more than a year with IBM and 11 food companies to develop a blockchain-enabled food traceability network. Now, Walmart and its subsidiary, Sam’s Club, will require their leafy greens suppliers to use its blockchain technology to implement real-time, end-to-end traceability back to farms within a year, the company announced today.

The company claims its blockchain technology dramatically improves efficiency. In an early test, Walmart’s vice president of food safety, Frank Yiannas, brought in sliced mangoes and asked his team to “stop everything they were doing and trace that product back to its origin on a farm,”. “It took them nearly seven days, as the methods of tracking today are antiquated — sometimes done with pencil and paper.” But using the blockchain, that tracking process can be done in 2.2 seconds.

 

 

 

“Imagine if blockchain would have been able to do what it’s done in our pilots,” the spokesperson said regarding the romaine lettuce outbreak.

“We had to throw out all romaine because there was no way to precisely identify which romaine was from Yuma [the region where the contaminated lettuce originated] versus other growing regions. … It not only affected Walmart, but all of retail and even restaurants. All romaine had to go.”

Bar codes, a common supply chain management tool, “are not a continuous chain (i.e. distributor, farmer, etc. could use different codes along the way),” the Walmart spokesperson said in an email. And even if “they did use the same barcode, the database would still differ by retailer. We are eliminating duplicity within the supply chain and creating one shared system.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has been working with IBM on applying blockchain solutions to other public health issues, such as the opioid crisis, consulted with Walmart on improving traceability to help public health officials investigate foodborne disease outbreaks and find the source of contaminated food.

As the MIT Technology Review explained in an article about the CDC and the health care blockchain, “a complex mishmash of data usage agreements and government privacy rules dictate which members can access information and which ones can modify it. That slows things down. A number of additional, sometimes manual processes are needed to make sure the correct organization or person sent or received the right data, and that it was used correctly. A blockchain can automate these steps.”

 

 

 

Walmart said the aim of its new blockchain system is “to help reduce the number of people who fall ill during food incidents, while at the same time reducing losses for retailers and suppliers during a recall.” The information about Walmart’s leafy greens will not be immediately available to consumers, but “that’s in our roadmap,” the spokesperson said.

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Ohio boy’s lawn care business goes viral after ‘ridiculous’ neighbor calls cops on him

A resident in a Maple Heights, Ohio neighborhood called the police on a 12-year-old boy who is spending the summer mowing lawns.

The boy, Reginald “Reggie” Fields, along with his siblings and cousins, were mowing a customer’s lawn when Reggie accidently cut a different neighbor’s grass.

The mistake spurred that resident to call the Maple Heights Police Department, Lt. Joe Mocsiran confirmed to Fox News on Friday.

“They said I was cutting their grass. I didn’t know it,” Reggie first told WEWS News 5.

Mocsiran said no action was taken against Reggie.

“A little kid is out there working hard — heck no,” he said, explaining that it’s difficult to tell where one person’s lawn starts and another ends in the neighborhood where the incident occured.

The situation prompted Lucille Holt, the customer whose lawn Reggie was mowing, to post a video to Facebook detailing the incident and documenting the children’s hard work.

“I guess I have a line where part of it is not my yard. They called the police to tell the police that the kids were cutting their grass,” Holt said in the video.

“Who does that?” she asked. “I’m so angry right now, this is totally ridiculous.”

As of Friday afternoon, the video had more than 50,000 views and 500 reactions.

Holt’s video has caused a surge in Reggie’s business, WEWS News 5 reported, adding that people from across the city have now asked Reggie to mow their lawn.

“People are inboxing me like, ‘how can I get in touch with these children? Where are they at? I got property I want these kids to cut,'” Holt said.

The young boy, whose business is called “Mr. Reggie’s Lawn Cutting Service,” according to WEWS News 5, plans to use the money he earns this summer to buy new equipment to expand his business.

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This Picture Of An Empty Toys R Us Will Make You Regret Buying Toys From Amazon

In March, Toys R Us announced that it was closing all 800 of its US stores, a final chapter for so many now-grownups who grew up begging their parents to take them to the iconic toy store.

issy@issymimi

countless trips to toysrus as a child only to find out it’s closing down for good in six weeks. my heart

Samuel in Deep Thought@SuddenSam147

A whole generation of ToysRUs kids are crying inside right now. Smh

And then this happened.

☝🏽That’s Geoffrey the Giraffe saying goodbye to his home of almost 70 years. Here he is below, in a happier time.

And as if that photo wasn’t enough, just look at what happens when you go to the Toys R Us website.

@ReapHoward / Via Twitter: @ReapHoward

Seeing the empty store has hit people right in the depths of their childhood nostalgia.

Final proof of the inevitable – that the stores are really closing forever …

🧜🏽‍♀️@whattabxtch

This just made me so sad. pic.twitter.com/a7I1crM71W

♋️💗@ChampagneJatii

I heard they were closing and didn’t even care until I saw this pic.twitter.com/Yl1t0EZHG3

And that there will never be another Toys R Us Kid …

The Observant Nubian@ICanSEEYallTho

From bikes
To Trains
To Video Games
It’s the biggest Toy Store there is

🗣Gee Whiz!

I don’t wanna grow up
Cause baby if I diiiiiiiiiiiid!!!!!
I couldn’t be a Toys R’ Us kid!

🗣More games, more toys, Oh boy!

😢I’ll forever be a Toys R’ Us kid!😢 pic.twitter.com/xtPSMBSfQ0

The Observant Nubian@ICanSEEYallTho

I do know why I’m crying in the club. pic.twitter.com/JjnC08CvX6

Because they’ve all grown up.

Thanks for all the years of magic Toys R Us.

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