RFID Keeps Our Meat Safe

In the meatpacking industry, RFID is being used for accurate livestock traceability

Despite being years away from “The Jungle,” the meatpacking industry still receives a lot of criticism.

Meatpackers have had a lot of pressure placed on them by consumers and the media to provide a clear record of animals as they travel throughout the plant. With more consumers desiring organic products, meatpackers need to be ale to provide their buyers with accurate livestock traceability.

Because of this, RFID technology has made advances in the meatpacking industry, ensuring that animal traceability is kept in tact throughout the supply chain.

The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) manages the Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS), designed to eliminate animal disease. Before cattle leave their Canadian origins, each cow is tagged with a CCIA RFID tag. The RFID tag is connected to a user account in the CLTS database and information about the cow, such as birth date and other information can be updated as the tag is read.

By the time an individual cow reaches the slaughterhouse, there’s a complete record of its life. In order to process the cow into the plant, it simply needs to walk past an RFID scanner and the database is immediately updated, thus avoiding any paperwork or manual data-entry.

Advances in RFID have allowed the meatpacking industry to become safer and more reliable, keeping everyone in the supply chain, even the consumer, informed at all times.