James Kaufman: IBM Works With Public Sector, Retailers on Food Safety Algorithm

IBMlogo3 EbizIBM has kicked off an initiative to collaborate with the public health sector and food retailers in identifying potential sources of contaminated food and probing food-borne diseases.

James Kaufman, manager of public health research for IBM Research, said Thursday that the company has developed a system that works to discover patterns from data sources by using “predictive analytics based on location, content and context.”

“We are working with our public health clients and with retailers in the U.S. to scale this research prototype and begin focusing on the 1.7B supermarket items sold each week in the United States,” added Kaufman.

IBM scientists developed the algorithm-based tool to gather data on location and date of various retailed food items for investigators to gain a comprehensive view of food distribution and health case reports.

IBM and the Department of Biological Safety of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment have collaborated to demonstrate the system by simulating 60,000 food-borne disease outbreaks based on food sales data from Germany.

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