Food manufacturers and packers collect and store information regarding food (grains, fruits, vegetables) they purchase and use a variety of systems. They consider this type of information to be proprietary and highly sensitive.
A few very large vendors, such as Wal-Mart, have automated sales information and logistical systems, which are also linked to suppliers' computers, but these systems are optimized to track purchasing patterns and prevent supply bottlenecks. This design makes them potentially valuable sources of data for integrated biosurveillance systems but would not enhance detection of a discrete problem, such as a contamination incident, in the food chain per se. Commercial contract laboratories, such as CII Laboratories of Kansas City, Missouri, maintain laboratory information management systems that hold testing results.
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