MAASTRICHT UNIVERSITY, NLD
Data standards, data sharing and Food Safety: Technical or social challenges?
There is much talk about the role that information technology (ICT) can play in ensuring food safety. For example, there has been much hype concerning the use of blockchain technologies for creating trust between disparate actors across the food web. In this talk, we will explore a number of technical approaches, discussing both architectures and data standards. We will argue, based on work currently in development under the aegis of the H2020 DiTECT project, that the technical solutions are available to collect data (for example concerning microbiological laboratory tests), to share data (in an appropriate and controlled manner), and then to make use of this data whether it is to predict potential food crises or in reaction to such an occurrence. There remains a major challenge which is too easily dismissed as an issue of “adoption”. Stakeholders fear that their data will be mis-used by third parties so careful thought needs to be given to a combination of digital capabilities and appropriate governance so as to persuade stakeholders to engage in any ICT based system for food safety. Here we will propose that appropriate application of the FAIR data principles (i.e. ensuring that metadata exists to make the data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) while fully taking into account issues of business confidentiality and regulatory obligations is the most constructive approach to take.