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Mar 18, 2016

Refrigerated carriers face a bevy of new mandates governing not only the condition and operation of equipment used to transport foodstuffs, but the capture and preservation of shipment temperatures, along with driver training requirements. Changes due to go into effect March 31.

Pharma Safety

The global healthcare cold chain logistics market size is expected to grow from $8 billion (2014) to $11 billion by 2018 with a third of that in the temperature-controlled packaging and service solutions arena. A big contributor to volume growth will be the introduction of biotechnology-derived large molecules requiring refrigerated storage handling at 2- to 8-degrees C. This type of transportation attracts aggressive regulatory positions from a number of influencers, including the European Union (EU), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization (WHO). Failing to meet any of these regulations could not only result in a loss of product efficacy, but the potential of unwanted publicity and ultimately fines. Packaging Digest discusses how to mitigate cold chain risks in today’s global healthcare market.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently approved an additional producer for the oral cholera vaccine, intending to resolve worldwide shortages of the vaccine by doubling the supply and extending service throughout more areas. Cholera, an acute diarrhoeal disease, kills people in a matter of hours if they do not receive treatment. Experts estimate there are 1.4 million to 4.3 million cholera cases every year, causing 142,000 deaths. Currently, the worldwide production of oral cholera vaccines is low, even though there is a rising demand for the vaccine. In 2015, Haiti and Sudan asked WHO for resources to run pre-emptive vaccination campaigns. These requests could not be fulfilled due to the shortage of the vaccines.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has filed a ‘patent opposition’ in India to prevent US pharmaceutical company Pfizer from getting a patent on the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13), so more affordable versions can become available to developing countries and humanitarian organisations. This is the first time a vaccine (biosimilar) patent has been challenged in India by a medical organisation, with the goal of millions more children being protected against deadly pneumonia.

With the Zika virus outbreak sweeping across Central and South America and knocking on America's door, the race is on to find a vaccine. Recently, officials at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that a potential Zika vaccine could make it to human trials by the end of the summer, one of the fastest timelines proposed for such a vaccine yet. There are even talks from scientists about recruiting volunteers to let researchers inject them with the Zika virus and an experimental vaccine, all in the name of science. Mashable takes a deeper look inside the hunt for a Zika virus vaccine.

International nonprofit PATH is launching a new center to accelerate the development and use of vaccines to help respond more effectively to new and rapidly evolving threats such as Ebola and Zika outbreaks around the world. The Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access will be supported with an initial grant of $11 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Food Safety

Even though restaurant chains seem to have been enjoying some positive macroeconomic tailwinds of late—from lower food-commodity prices to dramatically lower gasoline prices that have freed up funds for dining out—the industry today faces an array of formidable challenges. These include ensuring food safety in the wake of such incidents as Chipotle's high-profile E. coli outbreak, addressing what could be the "severest labor crisis" the industry has ever faced, and trying to figure out which technology bets today are worth the investment and which will be made obsolete by next year's smartphone. Those and many other industry issues are addressed in a new study, including an in-depth consumer survey, released today by AlixPartners, the global business-advisory firm.

New regulations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will begin to take effect this year could have a dramatic impact on food and beverage manufacturers. The FDA developed guidance late last year to go with a law passed in 2011 to hold food manufacturers and their suppliers to higher standards than ever before when it comes to preventing allergen contamination and bacterial outbreaks. Here are 5 key things manufacturers should be aware of when it comes to FSMA.

Despite a food manufacturer and retailer’s best efforts, contamination can happen. If your company should get that dreaded phone call, you need to know what to do to overcome your fears and take care of your business and consumers. Your company can survive and thrive, as long as you accurately handle all steps of the recovery process: sending out the initial food recall notice, working with your crisis management team, reevaluating your prevention procedures and recovering your losses.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc's co-chief executive officers' total compensation more than halved in 2015, a year when the one-time Wall Street darling lost flavor following a series of food-borne illnesses linked to its restaurants. Founder and co-Chief Executive Steve Ells' total compensation fell 52 percent to $13.8 million, from a year earlier, according to a regulatory filing on Friday. Co-CEO Monty Moran's total compensation fell about 51 percent to $13.6 million. The impact of a food safety violation goes well beyond public image and perception.

Still haven’t heard enough about the Chipotle food safety crisis? Food safety expert Trevor Suslow breaks down what went wrong in this Q&A with the LA Times.


There’s a lot of talk today about the technology that makes up the Internet of Things (IoT). What’s most fascinating is the impact IoT can have on the way companies can drastically alter their business models to get ahead of the competition. With real-time data, companies can make split second decisions to create competitive advantages in the marketplace. With IoT, they can obtain real-time data from “things” they never had access to before. The ability to know Key Performance Indicators in real time creates opportunities for companies to provide new or improved services that are transforming their industries.

Still not convinced that IoT is the future? Paul Riser, director of technology-based entrepreneurship at TechTown Detroit, said in an article from Crain’s: "If [companies] can become more understanding from an analytical and 'predictalytics' perspective of operations, of utility, of office space, of the environments we work in, of machinery and automation, of health delivery systems... we can be more proactive in understanding trends in where care and focus should be delivered, then I think we all become better solution providers.” The IoT puzzle of possibilities has analysts continually revising IoT's worth. Research firm Gartner predicts there will be 21 billion connected devices in 2020 compared with 5 billion devices today. In June, International Data Corp. said IoT spending will grow from $655.8 billion in 2014 to $1.7 trillion in 2020 with nearly 30 billion connected devices.

General Electric is undergoing a profound change as the result of digital transformation and the Industrial Internet of Things. Its evolution is providing insight into what's coming for the industrial sector overall. CIO takes a deeper look at how how GE will bring the Industrial IoT to life.

The Internet of Things (IoT) will enable many innovative digital business opportunities, but to profit from them, CIOs must come to terms with many new and immature technologies and vendors. Here are ten technologies that will be key for CIOs to understand to unlock the full potential of the IoT.

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