Wal-Mart is testing blockchain technology to improve food safety, according to a Bloomberg report. The retail giant is currently tracking two items in a test that includes thousands of packages shipped to various stores.
The company believes blockchain could potentially speed up the process of identifying and removing recalled food. Currently, it can take days to identify and remove a product once a customer becomes sick.
Using blockchain, Wal-Mart can conduct more targeted recalls rather than pulling all products from the shelves when a recall is announced.
The company is using blockchain technology co-developed by IBM. If the test is successful, it could change how Wal-Mart monitors food and launches recalls. If Wal-Mart adopts blockchain to track food globally, it would be one of the largest implementations of the technology to date, according to the report.
Blockchain technology helps guarantee information has a timestamp and recorded whenever any change happens, ensuring data can be trusted in real time. It’s now being used in a growing number of industries, including education, banking and financial services.
Swedish telecom company Ericcson, for example, is using blockchain to ensure data integrity and to serve as a strong foundation of its increasing cloud presence.