GS1 US Releases RFID Encoding Guidelines for Healthcare and Food Industries

GS1 US Releases RFID Encoding Guidelines for Healthcare and Food Industries

GS1 US, the standards organization, has recently unveiled new RFID encoding guidelines aimed at supporting the healthcare and food industries. These guidelines have been developed to standardize tagging and encoding practices as these industries deploy RFID technology for supply chain visibility, logistics, and consumer safety.

The Implementation Guideline for RFID in Healthcare Manufacturing and the RFID Foodservice Implementation Guideline were developed by GS1 US’s Healthcare and Foodservice workgroups. These guidelines provide a roadmap for the adoption of RFID technology in these sectors. Participants in the workgroups included members from healthcare, pharmaceutical, and food companies, technology companies, GS1 members, as well as representatives from Auburn University’s RFID Lab.

In recent years, healthcare and food companies have increasingly adopted or tested RFID technology to ensure the unique and automatic identification of products, especially perishable goods that require temperature and time control. To ensure universal and interoperable tagging, GS1 updated the tag data standard to address traceability data needs in these industries.

The use of RFID in the food and healthcare sectors offers several potential benefits, including improved recall management, better inventory accuracy, and enhanced health outcomes for patients. The FDA’s Food Traceability rule, FSMA Section 204, has further emphasized the need for RFID implementation in the food industry. This rule requires additional traceability records for specific food products, which can be efficiently collected using RFID technology.

Quick serve restaurants, such as Chipotle, have also been incentivized to adopt RFID technology due to FSMA Section 204 and the various benefits it offers in terms of data visibility and supply chain management. The guidelines also address the needs of pharmaceutical companies, such as Fresenius Kabi, that are applying RFID tags to their products.

The guidelines focus on EPC-encoded UHF RFID tags and provide best practices for encoding attribute data, such as batch or lot numbers, on tags applied at the case or carton level. They also make recommendations for tag placement and marking, taking into account reading methods and the content and packaging of the items.

Overall, these guidelines facilitate the adoption of RFID technology in the healthcare and food industries by providing common standards and practices for encoding and interpreting RFID tag data. They enable better traceability, inventory management, and operational efficiency while ensuring adherence to regulatory requirements.

– GS1 US
– RFID Journal

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