And is it authentic? And has it been properly handled?

The 1984 Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef” commercial is a classic as Clara Peller, with a voice probably unlike any other human being, demands to know why the hamburger patty in her fast food restaurant burger is so small. Today, consumers are increasingly demanding answers to, “where did the beef come from?”, “is it truly grass fed?” and “has it been properly handled during processing and shipping?”. These questions are not just about beef either. They’re about poultry, pork and seafood too. For example, as of January 1, there are new regulations and required documentation to combat fraudulent seafood.

Simply put, waste and safety for meats and seafood is a huge issue.

The fresh protein supply chain is just as complex, if not more, than the fresh produce supply chain. For example, seafood often faces the longest distances and most extreme circumstances between catch and retail delivery. Further, proteins are often the highest value, highest margin and competitively differentiating food product for retailers and restaurants.

According to the NRDC, eight percent of seafood and four percent of beef and poultry is wasted at the retailer, costing approximately $10 billion a year in pre-consumer waste. Like produce and other perishable foods, beef, poultry, pork and seafood have dynamic shelf-lives that can be negatively impacted by temperature, time and handling. And with protein products often traveling through complex supply chains with multiple processing steps, the opportunity for mishandling or mislabeling only increases, ultimately impacting freshness, quality, authenticity and safety.

Zest Fresh for Protein is now available for the beef, poultry, pork and seafood industries. By applying the benefits of Zest Fresh to perishable proteins, processors, distributors, retailers and restaurants can gain true transparency across supply chains at the pallet or case level, achieving optimal shelf-life, authenticity and food safety controls.

Zest Fresh is the only freshness management solution that autonomously collects operational product data for the provenance, pedigree, time, temperature and location of each pallet or container of protein from birth or processing through the entire supply chain to delivery. In addition, Zest Fresh’s integrated blockchain support automatically translates supply chain events into secure, recorded transactions.

Using cloud-based predictive analytics, Zest Fresh also dynamically calculates the remaining shelf-life of proteins based on type and cut, temperature and handling history, and packaging. This data enables every member of the protein supply chain to accurately predict actual shelf-life and food safety considerations, including actionable responses to recalls and intelligent routing to ensure delivered freshness to the store, reducing shrink and improving margins.

By applying the Zest Fresh solution to the beef, poultry, pork and seafood industries, every member of the protein supply chain has the power to reduce waste, improve freshness and meet safety requirements, ultimately fulfilling the quality expectations of today’s consumer. To learn more about Zest Fresh for Protein, visit here.

And, if you haven’t seen the famous commercial, you can watch it here.