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Frequently Asked Questions

RFID is an acronym for Radio Frequency Identification which consists of a wireless system composed of tags and readers that rely on an internal power source and antenna.

Metals and liquid can interfere with the signal leaving unreliable results. While this isn’t as crucial with RFID inventory management, the outcome of an untracked temperature excursion would compromise a temperature-sensitive product leaving it unsafe for consumers. Varcode’s Smart Tag is an enhanced barcode label that provides real-time data down to the last mile that is easily integrated into current processes and extremely cost-effective. 

 

RFID Technology 

Varcode Smart Tag 

 

 

 

Tracks Real-time data 

X 

X 

Enhances Health & Safety 

X 

X 

Requires special reading device to gather data 

X 

 

Leaves room for human error 

X 

 

Reliable Results 

 

X 

Cost Effective 

 

X 

Easily Integrated into current operations 

 

X 

Tracking at product level 

 

X 

Temp. Tracking to the last mile 

 

X 

No data crunching 

 

X 

Cloud based storage system 

 

X 

 

We are currently working on a tag with the same functionality as our standard tags that will measure the time in which a product goes below a specific temperature. It is in the works and making great progress!

Time-temperature management is imperative in the cold chain. The FDA has established a “Danger Zone” in which a refrigerated food item’s temperature rises above 40°F for a specified period. A product’s journey encounters many stops along the way going between distribution centers before reaching its final destination. This is where temperature abuse most often occurs. Tracking the cumulative time that a product exceeds 40°F can be the difference between rejecting a product and deeming it acceptable for consumption. For example, during stops, a product may incur higher temperatures for a short period of time, 10 minutes here, 30 minutes there, which add up over time. If all those temperature fluctuations add up to over 4 hours cumulatively, the chances of bacteria growth significantly increase. With a color change indicator or data logger, it’s easy to take the temperature upon arrival and accept or reject the load based on those results. The cumulative time in which a temperature excursion occurs provides critical information about the quality and safety of the product. 

While typical data loggers were a great addition to the cold chain when they first hit the market, they have not been able to keep up with the growing expectations of freshly delivered cold chain products. Some disadvantages of data loggers are as follows: 

  1. Inability to track temperature from harvest to store – Data loggers only track segments of the journey usually from shipper to distribution center leaving gaps in the cold chain. Only tracking segments of the cold chain provides limited data and inaccurate results.
  2. Data is not in real time - When a data logger is tracking temperature for a pallet or entire truckload of product, a significant temperature excursion would cause the entire load to be rejected. Real time data would create the ability to take action during the product’s journey and drastically reduce food waste.
  3. Manually deciphering data leaves room for human error – Analyzing data can be a challenge when you must decipher so much code. Reading the data incorrectly could lead to increased product waste and loss of revenue.
  4. COST – Aside from the reactive approach of data loggers, they are expensive. The phrase “you get what you pay for” greatly applies here. A great commercial data logger can cost thousands of dollars per unit.
  5. Electronics – Data loggers require batteries which have requirements of their own to function properly and can easily malfunction.

Compliance with handling cold chain products = regulations that must be followed to ensure the safety and efficacy of the product.

The FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act requires food processing and handling companies to create and implement a HACCP plan as a proactive approach to food safety. In order to comply, they must follow a strict set of guidelines in proper food handling, storage and transport of their cold chain products.

Cold chain monitoring is critical to identify any possible gaps in the cold chain that may affect the efficacy of the product. By using a temperature monitoring device such as an electronic data logger, color change indicator, temperature sensor, or Varcode’s Smart Tag™, a product’s temperature can be tracked throughout its journey to measure temperature excursions. To effectively monitor the temperature of a truck, pallet, box, or individual product, a device or label must be properly placed inside the designated container. This will allow the temperature to be tracked along the journey. 

Temperature thresholds vary depending on the type of product.

For example, perishable food items must be kept below 40°F to avoid increasing the chance of bacterial growth. Typical refrigerated vaccinations must be stored between 36°F and 46°F and frozen vaccinations between -58°F and +5°F to maintain efficacy.  

In a word – accessibility.  No additional equipment or software is required to get started with the Varcode Smart Data Solution.  Our easy-to-use, cost-effective tags allow for tracking of time over temperature on all product deliveries, not just a select few samples or a single temperature for a truckload.  Secure a Varcode Smart Tag™ on each case or inside each consumer delivery.   Use any smartphone or android scanner to scan the tags and have cold chain information delivered immediately.  

Simply download Varcode app on either the App Store or Goggle Play

varcode mobile app qr download iOS

Apple iOS

varcode mobile app qr download android

Android

Yes! Our tech team will work directly with your team for quick and easy integration of the Varcode app into your process.

Our system delivers exception-based alerts via email or text, reports, and analytics for information-based decisions on product safety and quality is delivered via our Smart Tag™ Management System and Dashboard. Or, download the data for impact into your business intelligence tool. Our easy-to-use web-based systems are password protected to secure your data.

You bet! Just call us at (312) 819-7003 and select 2 or click here to fill out a form .

Have Questions?

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(312) 819-7003
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