WO2014146014A1 - Quality assurance of food quality assessment - Google Patents

Quality assurance of food quality assessment Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2014146014A1
WO2014146014A1 PCT/US2014/030884 US2014030884W WO2014146014A1 WO 2014146014 A1 WO2014146014 A1 WO 2014146014A1 US 2014030884 W US2014030884 W US 2014030884W WO 2014146014 A1 WO2014146014 A1 WO 2014146014A1
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WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
samples
quality assurance
location
server
assurance data
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PCT/US2014/030884
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Eric Brandt
Shannon RAMSEY
Original Assignee
Eric Brandt
Ramsey Shannon
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Priority to US201361802001P priority Critical
Priority to US61/802,001 priority
Application filed by Eric Brandt, Ramsey Shannon filed Critical Eric Brandt
Publication of WO2014146014A1 publication Critical patent/WO2014146014A1/en

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • G06Q10/08Logistics, e.g. warehousing, loading, distribution or shipping; Inventory or stock management, e.g. order filling, procurement or balancing against orders
    • G06Q10/083Shipping
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • G06Q10/10Office automation, e.g. computer aided management of electronic mail or groupware; Time management, e.g. calendars, reminders, meetings or time accounting

Abstract

A method for quality assurance comprising implementing a testing procedure. Said implementing a testing procedure comprises: receiving a request for a one or more samples from a lot through a quality assurance data system, creating said one or more samples, assigning a shipping container to said one or more samples, assigning a one or more unique identifiers to said shipping container and said one or more samples, shipping said one or more samples between a first location and a second location, monitoring said one or more samples between said first location and said second location, receiving said one or more samples at said second location, and performing a one or more tests on said one or more samples. Said quality assurance data system comprises a server and a one or more distributed sensor systems. Said server comprises a storage device, a processors, a memory, and communication hardware components.

Description

Quality Assurance of Food Quality Assessment

BACKGROUND

[0001] This PCT application is continuation of US Provisional Patent Application Number 61802001, filed on March 15, 2013.

[0002] This disclosure relates generally to a system and method for quality assurance of food quality assessment. None of the known inventions and patents, taken either singularly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant disclosure as claimed.

SUMMARY

[0003] A method for quality assurance comprising implementing a testing procedure. Said implementing a testing procedure comprises: receiving a request for a one or more samples from a lot through a quality assurance data system, creating said one or more samples, assigning a shipping container to said one or more samples, assigning a one or more unique identifiers to said shipping container and said one or more samples, shipping said one or more samples between a first location and a second location, monitoring said one or more samples between said first location and said second location, receiving said one or more samples at said second location, and performing a one or more tests on said one or more samples. Said quality assurance data system comprises a server and a one or more distributed sensor systems. Said server comprises a storage device, a processors, a memory, and communication hardware components. Said one or more distributed sensor systems capable of monitoring said one or more samples between said first location and said second location. Said one or more distributed sensor systems collect a portion of a quality assurance data and report it back to said server. Said server comprises a one or more data base tables for tracking said samples, a one or more users, and a one or more events occurring relative to said samples.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0004] Figure 1 illustrates a network diagram for a quality assurance data system.

[0005] Figures 2A and 2B illustrate said mobile device and said first computer. [0006] Figure 2C illustrates a component diagram for said one or more computers.

[0007] Figures 2D and 2E illustrates a component diagram and a system-on-a-chip.

[0008] Figures 3A and 3B illustrate an exploded perspective overview of said first distributed sensor system, and a perspective overview of said first distributed sensor system being inserted into a shipping container.

[0009] Figures 4A-4F illustrate an illustration of a testing procedure as between a one or more parties.

[0010] Figure 4A illustrates a portion of said third step.

[0011] Figure 4B illustrates a portion of said fourth step.

[0012] Figure 4C illustrates a portion of said fifth step and said sixth step.

[0013] Figure 4D illustrates a portion of said seventh step and said eighth step.

[0014] Figure 4E and 4F illustrate a one or more of said ninth step, being one or more resulting actions.

[0015] Figures 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D illustrate said testing procedure, said third step, and two among said resulting steps described in said ninth step.

[0016] Figure 5C illustrates one embodiment of said ninth step.

[0017] Figure 5D illustrates said second outcome step.

[0018] Figures 6A and 6B illustrate a one or more database tables in said data storage and a database relationship table for said quality assurance data system.

[0019] Figure 7 illustrates said user.

[0020] Figure 8 illustrates said samples.

[0021] Figure 9 illustrates said smp events.

[0022] Figure 10 illustrates said testing profile.

[0023] Figures 1 1A, 1 1B, 11C, 11D and HE illustrate a first embodiment of said quality assurance data as a sample overview, a sample info tab, a parties tab, and a testing profile tab.

[0024] Figure 12 illustrates a second embodiment of said sample overview.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0025] Described herein is a system and method for quality assurance of food quality Assessment. The following description is presented to enable any person skilled in the art to make and use the invention as claimed and is provided in the context of the particular examples discussed below, variations of which will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art. In the interest of clarity, not all features of an actual implementation are described in this specification. It will be appreciated that in the development of any such actual implementation (as in any development project), design decisions must be made to achieve the designers' specific goals (e.g., compliance with system- and business-related constraints), and that these goals will vary from one implementation to another. It will also be appreciated that such development effort might be complex and time-consuming, but would nevertheless be a routine undertaking for those of ordinary skill in the field of the appropriate art having the benefit of this disclosure. Accordingly, the claims appended hereto are not intended to be limited by the disclosed embodiments, but are to be accorded their widest scope consistent with the principles and features disclosed herein.

[0026] Figure 1 illustrates a network diagram for a quality assurance data system 100. In one embodiment, said system and method for quality assurance of food quality assessment can comprise said quality assurance data system 100 and the method of using the same.

[0027] In one embodiment, said quality assurance data system 100 can comprise a one or more computers at a one or more locations. In one embodiment, said one or more computers can comprise a first computer 102a, a second computer 102b and a third computer 102c. In one embodiment, said quality assurance data system 100 can comprise a mobile device 102d that can capture quality assurance data at a field location. In one embodiment, said one or more locations can comprise a first location 103a, a second location 103b and a third location 103c. In one embodiment, said first location can comprise a field location. In one embodiment, said one or more computers can communicate on a network 106, which can connect to a one or more servers (such as a server 108). In one embodiment, a printer 104 can be hardwired to said first computer 102a (not illustrated here), or said printer 104 can connect to one of said one or more computers (such as said third computer 102c, illustrated) via network 106.

[0028] Said network 106 can be a local area network (LAN), a wide area network (WAN), a piconet, or a combination of LANs, WANs, or piconets. One illustrative LAN is a network within a single business. One illustrative WAN is the Internet or worldwide web, as is known in the art.

[0029] In one embodiment, said server 108 represents at least one, but can be many servers, each connected to said network 106. Said server 108 can connect to a data storage 110. Said data storage 1 10 can connect directly to said server 108, as shown in Figure 1, or may exist remotely on said network 106. In one embodiment, said data storage 110 can comprise any suitable long-term or persistent storage device and, further, may be separate devices or the same device and may be collocated or distributed (interconnected via any suitable communications network).

[0030] In one embodiment, said quality assurance data system 100 can comprise a one or more distributed sensor systems (such as a first distributed sensor system 1 12a and a second distributed sensor system 112b). In one embodiment, said one or more distributed sensor systems can communicate with said server 108 directly, or via said network 106 or by way of passing data through said one or more computers which can, in turn, pass data to said server 108.

[0031] In one embodiment, said quality assurance data system 100 can comprise a one or more testing equipment a said one or more locations (such as a first testing equipment 1 14a at said first location 103a, and a second testing equipment 114b at said second location 103b).

[0032] Figures 2A and 2B illustrate said mobile device 102d and said first computer 102a. In one embodiment, said one or more computers can comprise a human machine interface with input/output devices such as a screen 201, a keyboard 202a, a trackball 202b, a one or more cameras 202c, and/or a wireless reader (such as an RFID reader). In one embodiment, said screen 201 can comprise a touch screen among said one or more input devices of said screen 201 and/or said one or more client computers. Said mobile device 102d can represent a class of computing devices such as tablet computers, iPads®, smartphones, or similar. In one embodiment, each among said one or more computers can comprise a communication hardware and one or more sensors, as is known in the art.

[0033] Figure 2C illustrates a component diagram 204 for said one or more computers. Each among said one or more client computers and said server 108 can comprise an embodiment of said component diagram 204. Said component diagram 204 can comprise a one or more processors 205, a memory 206, and a one or more communication hardware components 207. In one embodiment, a quality assurance data 203 can be sent to said processors 205; wherein, said processors 205 can perform processes on said quality assurance data 203 according to an application stored in said memory 206, as discussed further below. Said process can include storing said quality assurance data 203 into said memory 206, verifying said quality assurance data 203 conforms to a one or more preset standards, or ensuring a required set among said required quality assurance data 203 has been gathered for said quality assurance data management system and method. In one embodiment, said quality assurance data 203 can include data which said one or more computers can populate automatically, such as a date and a time, as well as data entered manually. Once a portion of gathering data has been performed said quality assurance data 203 can be sent to said communication hardware components 207 for communication over said network 106. Said communication hardware components 207 can include a network transport processor for packetizing data, communication ports for wired communication, or an antenna for wireless communication. In one embodiment, said quality assurance data 203 can be collected in one or more computers and delivered to said server 108 through said network 106. [0034] Said second computer 102b can comprise said wireless reader (such as an RFID reader) and/or a network adapter configured to communicate with one or more of said other one or more computers or said data storage 110.

[0035] Said quality assurance data system 100 can comprise said quality assurance data 203. In one embodiment, said quality assurance data 203 can comprise data related to the tracking of samples sent to a lab for testing.

[0036] In one embodiment, said one or more computers can be used to input and view said quality assurance data 203. In one embodiment, said quality assurance data 203 can be input into said mobile device 102d by taking pictures with one of cameras 202c. In one embodiment, said quality assurance data 203 can be input by typing on keyboard 202a. Many other data entry means for devices similar to said mobile device 102d are well known and herein also possible with quality assurance data 203. In one embodiment, mobile device 102d can comprise an iPhone®, a BlackBerry®, a tablet device, a smartphone, or similar. In one embodiment, one or more client computers can comprise a laptop computer, a desktop computer, or similar.

[0037] Figures 2D and 2E illustrates a component diagram 210 and a system-on-a-chip 220. In one embodiment, said component diagram 210 and said system-on-a-chip 220 can comprise an example of said one or more distributed sensor systems. In one embodiment, said one or more distributed sensor systems can comprise an integrated system to be used between and at said first location 103a and said second location 103b for data collection. In one embodiment, said one or more distributed sensor systems can report data back to said server 108 and/or said data storage 1 10.

[0038] As illustrated in said component diagram 210 and said system-on-a-chip 220, said one or more distributed sensor systems can comprise said processors 205, said memory 206, said communication hardware components 207, a location sensor 212, a temperature sensor 214, a one or more LEDs 216, and a power system 218. In one embodiment, said location sensor 212 can comprise a GPS sensor. Said temperature sensor 214 can comprise a probe 222 for sensing a temperature at or around said one or more computers. Said one or more LEDs 216 can be lighted to provide a visible signal from said system-on-a-chip 220. Said power system 218 can comprise a battery, attached to and powering said system-on-a-chip 220.

[0039] Figures 3A and 3B illustrate an exploded perspective overview of said first distributed sensor system 112a, and a perspective overview of said first distributed sensor system 112a being inserted into a shipping container 304. In one embodiment, said one or more distributed sensor systems can comprise said system-on-a-chip 220 and a containment 302. In one embodiment, said containment 302 can comprise a protective container for holding said system-on-a-chip 220 to protect its components, without interfering with its sensors. Thus, in one embodiment said containment 302 can allow said communication hardware components 207, said location sensor 212, and said temperature sensor 214 to operate.

[0040] In one embodiment, said first distributed sensor system 1 12a can be paired to a shipment in said shipping container 304; wherein, said shipping container 304 can comprise a cargo 308 which said one or more distributed sensor systems monitor between a starting point (such as said first location 103a) and an end point (such as said second location 103b). In one embodiment, said one or more distributed sensor systems can be encoded with data related to said cargo 308, and a packing slip 306 can bear a printed version of a portion such data. In one embodiment, said cargo 308 can comprise a sample to be sent to a lab, as discussed below.

[0041] In one embodiment, said one or more testing equipment can comprise a camera 1 14c and a scales 1 14d used to capture images and measure a weight of said one or more samples. In one embodiment, said scales can communicate directly with said first computer 102a, said printer 104 or - otherwise - have a display showing a weight of items set thereupon, and those weights can be entered directly into said first computer 102a and passed into said quality assurance data system 100. In one embodiment, said camera 1 14c can comprise an embedded camera in one among said one or more computers and/or said mobile device 102d.

[0042] Figures 4A-4F illustrate an illustration of a testing procedure 400 as between a one or more parties. In one embodiment, said one or more parties can comprise a producer location 402, a lab location 404, a client 406, an insurance company 408, a regulator 409 and a courier 410. In one embodiment, said testing procedure 400 can monitor data related to food in a lot 412. In one embodiment, said lot 412 can comprise a food product prepared by a producer associated with said producer location 402 or said client 406. In one embodiment, said lot 412 can comprise meat product for human consumption. In one embodiment, said testing procedure 400 can comprise collecting a one or more samples from said lot 412 for testing. In one embodiment, said one or more samples can comprise a first sample 414a and a second sample 414b (for example). Although, the number of samples required by a particular test may vary (as described below).

[0043] As is illustrated below in figure 5A, in one embodiment, said testing procedure 400 can comprise a first step 502a, a second step 502b, a third step 502c, a fourth step 502d, a fifth step 502e, a sixth step 502f, a seventh step 502g, an eighth step 502h, and a ninth step 502k. In one embodiment, said first step 502a can comprise receiving a request for a one or more samples; said second step 502b can comprise creating samples; said third step 502c can comprise preliminary testing; said fourth step 502d can comprise notifying a one or more interested parties of said one or more samples; said fifth step 502e can comprise monitoring samples; said sixth step 502f can comprise delivering said samples to a lab; said seventh step 502g can comprise testing said samples at said lab; said eighth step 502h can comprise reporting results from said testing; and said ninth step 502k can comprise resulting actions.

[0044] In one embodiment, said samples request of said first step 502a can comprise a purchase order from said client 406 for a portion of said lot 412, which may require testing of said lot 412 prior to fulfillment. Thus, in one embodiment said preparing samples of said second step 502b can comprise cutting out a portion said lot 412 as a one or more samples (which can comprise of a first sample 414a and a second sample 414b). In one embodiment, said preliminary testing of said one or more samples of said third step 502c can comprise a one or more procedures for commencing testing of said one or more samples.

[0045] In one embodiment, said lot 412 can comprise a meat product such as steaks, beef, poultry, pork, fish, or similar. In another embodiment, said lot 412 can comprise other food products such as fruits, lettuces, spinach or similar. Herein, said quality assurance data system 100 is well adapted to tracking the handoff of a food product between said producer location 402 and said lab location 404, regardless of the food type.

[0046] The frequent temperature reading of said quality assurance data system 100 is a protection against parties who would flash freeze or ice down foods in ice of dry ice prior to shipping. This ensures that bacteria or harmful agents aren't destroyed with tampering with a temperature in a sample that might exist in said lot 412.

[0047] In one embodiment, said one or more samples can be sealed with a USDA seal and the seal number can be stored in said quality assurance data system 100 to ensure protection said one or more samples. In one embodiment, wrongfully breaking such a seal can comprise stiff penalties for infringers.

[0048] In one embodiment, said containment 302 can comprise a "combo bin", as is known in the art, thus sample treatment and shipments are tied to a commonly used bin. Accordingly, in one embodiment, said one or more distributed sensor systems can be directly attached to said containment 302, rather than dropped into said containment 302 (as illustrated). In one embodiment, the degree of attachment of said one or more distributed sensor systems to said containment 302 can be guided by a battery life of said one or more distributed sensor systems, or possibly a locking system for releaseably removing said system- on-a-chip 220 from said containment 302. [0049] By tying said one or more distributed sensor systems to said containment 302 (and therefore said one or more samples) there is no break in the "cold chain" between said producer location 402 and said lab location 404. That is, said server 108 knows the status of the samples on an ongoing basis. One example, illustrated below, shows that said one or more distributed sensor systems can take readings once per hour, but this recording frequency can be altered according to user preference.

[0050] In one embodiment, said third step 502c of said testing procedure 400 can further be broken down as a first preliminary step 504a, a second preliminary step 504b, a third preliminary step 504c, a fourth preliminary step 504d, and a fifth preliminary step 504e. In one embodiment, said first preliminary step 504a can comprise logging into said quality assurance data system 100; said second preliminary step 504b can comprise verifying a user qualifications; said third preliminary step 504c can comprise loading a preliminary testing procedures; said fourth preliminary step 504d can comprise measuring said one or more samples with said preliminary testing procedures; and said fifth preliminary step 504e can comprise verifying said preliminary testing has been conducted according to said preliminary testing procedures.

[0051] Figure 4A illustrates a portion of said third step 502c. In one embodiment, said one or more samples (comprising of said first sample 414a and said second sample 414b are loaded into said shipping container 304 along with said first distributed sensor system 112a. In one embodiment, said one or more samples are taken from said lot 412. In one embodiment, said second distributed sensor system 112b is left with said lot 412 to track a condition of said lot 412 during said testing procedure 400. In one embodiment, a user can log into said quality assurance data system 100 with said first computer 102a; said users' credentials can be verified; apreliminary testing procedures can be loaded into said first computer 102a and carried out by said user; and said quality assurance data system 100 can verify that said preliminary testing procedures are followed through a survey dialog associated with said one or more samples.

[0052] In one embodiment, said quality assurance data system 100 can ensure that testing is carried out correctly by refusing to print said packing slip 306 or progressing forward in said testing procedure 400 until all or a portion of the preceding steps are completed. For example, in one embodiment, said quality assurance data system 100 may require that an initial temperature and weight be taken prior to proceeding.

[0053] In one embodiment, said second preliminary step 504b (requiring user authentication) can be state-of-the-art (such as retina scanning, fingerprint verification, or similar) or can simply require a user password, as is known in the art. [0054] In one embodiment, a request is generated by said quality assurance data system 100 for said one or more samples by: receiving a purchase order from said client 406, identifying said lot 412 with goods purchased in said purchase order, and generating said request for a one or more samples from said lot 412.

[0055] Figure 4B illustrates a portion of said fourth step 502d. In one embodiment, said fourth step 502d can comprise notifying a one or more interested parties of said testing procedure 400 as applied to said one or more samples. In one embodiment, said first computer 102a can notify said printer 104 of said shipping container 304, which can in turn, notify said insurance company 408, said regulator 409, said client 406, said lab location 404 and said courier 410. Said courier 410 can provide a tracking number to said printer 104 and dispatch a delivery person to pick up said shipping container 304, as is known in the art.

[0056] In one embodiment, said quality assurance data system 100 can be programmed or preprogrammed with the names and contact information of said one or more parties. For example, in one embodiment, said insurance company 408 can comprise an insurer associated with said lot 412, said producer, said client, and/or said lab location 404. Said lab location 404 can comprise a location of a laboratory used to conduct other portions of said testing procedure 400 on said one or more samples, as discussed below. In one embodiment, said client 406 can comprise a party purchasing a portion of said lot 412, as discussed above. In one embodiment, said regulator 409 can request access to said quality assurance data system 100 before, during or after said testing procedure 400 has been conducted, as necessary.

[0057] Now, during said testing procedure 400, said one or more distributed sensor systems can be collecting data with said one or more sensors (such as said probe 222, said temperature sensor 214 and said location sensor 212) which can be stored in said memory 206 or delivered with said communication hardware components 207 to said server 108. In one embodiment, delivering data from said one or more distributed sensor systems to said server 108 can comprise passing data through said communication hardware components 207 of said one or more distributed sensor systems to said communication hardware components 207 of said one or more computers to said network 106 and to said server 108 or - otherwise - passing that data directly to said network 106 and then to said server 108.

[0058] Since said quality assurance data system 100 automatically notifies said courier 410 of the readiness of said containment 302, there is no bottleneck in said testing procedure 400 waiting for shipments. This, in turn ensures that a payable shipment to said client 406 is not held up by a slow testing procedure. Said quality assurance data system 100 keeps a testing procedure moving forward at traditional bottlenecks.

[0059] Figure 4C illustrates a portion of said fifth step 502e and said sixth step 502f.

[0060] In one embodiment, said one or more distributed sensor systems can collect data according to a recording frequency or according to a power supply associated with said system- on-a-chip 220. Accordingly, said one or more distributed sensor systems can generate data according to a user preference to ensure a steady treatment of said one or more samples over the course of said testing procedure 400. Alternatively, in one embodiment, said "monitoring said samples" of said fifth step 502e can comprise monitoring said one or more samples between said producer location 402 and said lab location 404, even while in the control of said courier 410.

[0061] In one embodiment, said first distributed sensor system 112a can report data to said server 108 even when out of range of said one or more computers. For example, in one embodiment, system-on-a-chip 220 can comprise a mobility data communication chip (such as 4G, LTE, 3G, GSM, or similar), which are capable of communicating with a tower, then with said network 106, as is known in the art. In one embodiment, said system-on-a-chip 220 can be configured to communicate across towers in the USA and overseas alike.

[0062] In another embodiment, said one or more distributed sensor systems may lack a mobility data communication chip or may simply be out of range of a communication tower. Alternatively, in one embodiment, said one or more distributed sensor systems can collect data between said producer location 402 and said lab location 404 and only communicate with said server 108 when in range of said one or more computers.

[0063] In one embodiment, said one or more distributed sensor systems communicate with said one or more computers and/or said mobile device 102d with a recognized protocol such as Bluetooth®, ANT®, Wi-Fi, or similar.

[0064] In one embodiment, said lot 412 can be stored in a storage facility 499 while said testing procedure 400 is being conducted.

[0065] Figure 4D illustrates a portion of said seventh step 502g and said eighth step 502h.

[0066] In one embodiment, said lab location 404 can receive said shipping container 304, unpack said one or more samples, and commence testing. In one embodiment, when said first distributed sensor system 1 12a comes into range of said second computer 102b, said second computer 102b can signal said server 108 that said shipping container 304 has arrived at said lab location 404. In one embodiment, said server 108 can notify other interested parties that said shipping container 304 has arrived. [0067] In one embodiment, said quality assurance data system 100 can display a testing procedure and corresponding surveys on said second computer 102b according to a preference set out by a party at said producer location 402, said 406/, said lab location 404, said regulator 409 and/or said insurance company 408. Thus, said quality assurance data system 100 can guide the testing of said one or more samples at said lab location 404 and collect data related to its outcome.

[0068] Figure 4E and 4F illustrate a one or more of said ninth step 502k, being one or more resulting actions. In one embodiment, said one or more resulting action can turn on the result of said testing procedure 400. For example, in one embodiment, if said one or more samples pass all tests applied to them, then they are clear to be delivered to said client 406; on the other hand, in one embodiment, said one or more samples may fail to pass said testing procedure and thereafter be sent to a cooker 440 or disposed of accordingly.

[0069] In one embodiment, upon passing said testing procedure 400, a signal can be sent to said courier 410 to pick up said lot 412 for deliver to said client 406. This step can occur automatically. The alternative is true also, a signal can be sent to said courier 410 to deliver said lot 412 to said cooker 440. Said quality assurance data system 100 can, therefore, add efficiency to the testing, delivering and/or disposal of tested products, such as foods.

[0070] Since said quality assurance data system 100 keeps substantially comprehensive data on said one or more samples throughout said testing procedure 400, users of said quality assurance data system 100 can avoid liability by referring to data collected later on. Further, it avoids bottlenecks in human entry of data and speeds up users by avoiding much legacy human data entry.

[0071] In one embodiment, a one or more testing results from said lab location 404 can be stored in said quality assurance data system 100 and made accessible to consumers of portions of said lot 412. For example, in one embodiment, where said lot 412 comprises beef, said client 406 or said producer location 402 can include a unique identifier associated with said lot 412 and/or said one or more samples; wherein, said consumer can look up the history of their portion of said lot 412 through said quality assurance data system 100.

[0072] Figures 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D illustrate said testing procedure 400, said third step 502c, and two among said resulting steps described in said ninth step 502k. Figures 5A and 5B are described above.

[0073] Figure 5C illustrates one embodiment of said ninth step 502k. In one embodiment, resulting actions of said ninth step 502k can comprise a first resulting step 520a, a second resulting step 520b, and a third resulting step 520c (which can comprise a first outcome step 522a or a second outcome step 522b). In one embodiment, said first resulting step 520a can comprise receiving a samples report 526 from said lab location 404; said second resulting step 520b can comprise selecting a recipient as between said client 406 and said cooker 440; and sending said lot 412 to said client 406 (said first outcome step 522a) or to said cooker 440 (said second outcome step 522b).

[0074] Figure 5D illustrates said second outcome step 522b. In one embodiment, said second outcome step 522b can comprise a first cooking step 530a, a second cooking step 530b, and a third cooking step 530c. In one embodiment, said first cooking step 530a can comprise delivering said lot 412 to said cooker 440; said second cooking step 530b can comprise receiving a cooking report from said cooker 440 in said quality assurance data system 100; and said third cooking step 530c can comprise verifying said cooking report is up to standards.

[0075] Figures 6A and 6B illustrate a one or more database tables in said data storage 1 10 and a database relationship table 600 for said quality assurance data system 100.

[0076] In one embodiment, said data storage 110 can store a one or more data tables comprising a user 602, a samples 604, a smp events 606 and a testing profile 608. Further, each among said one or more tables can comprise a one or more fields. In one embodiment, said user 602 can comprise an id 702, a user name 704, a location 706, a user type 708, an employer 710, a created 712, and a testing ref 714. In one embodiment, said samples 604 can comprise a id 902, a created 908, a bar code 904, a serial 906, a producer 910, a lab 912, a client 914, a project 916, a notes 918, a test ordered 920, a cooker 922, and a courier tracking 924. In one embodiment, said smp events 606 can comprise an ID 1002, a smp ref 1004, an evt dttm 1006, a user ref 1008, a status 1010, a weight (g) 1012, a temp (f) 1014, a notes 1016, and a location 1018. In one embodiment, said testing profile 608 can comprise an id 1102, and a test types 1 104.

[0077] Figure 7 illustrates said user 602. In one embodiment, said id 702 can comprise a unique identifier for each user in said quality assurance data system 100; said user name 704 can comprise a unique user name for each user; said location 706 can comprise a primary location of each user; said user type 708 can comprise a type of user being created (more on this below); said employer 710 can comprise a cross reference to another field in this table (user 602) which represents an employer for a user; said created 712 can comprise a date which a user account was created; and said testing ref 714 can comprise a list of preferences (referring to said testing profile 608) for each user related to tests which that user prefers conducted for orders related to that user. In one embodiment, said user 602 can comprise more fields such as first name, last name, phone number, email address, mailing address, or similar; however, these additional biographical details are omitted from this disclosure as they are well-known in the field an need not be repeated here. [0078] In one embodiment, said employer 710 can comprise a "look up field" which refers back onto said user 602; thus, said employer 710 holds a unique identifier such as said id 702 or said user name 704. In this way, an employer (such as "FirstXab") might have more than one employees (not illustrated here) and said quality assurance data system 100 will require a separate account for "First.Lab" and its employees, where the user held in said employer 710 can comprise a "parent field" and the employee would be a "child field" in terms of data structure. This, accounting and subscriptions to said quality assurance data system 100 can be managed at the user- by-user level or employer-by-employer level; where an employer may sign up, pay a fee and add users one at a time according to a subscription table (not illustrated, but well-known in the art).

[0079] Figure 8 illustrates said samples 604. In one embodiment, said id 902 can comprise a unique identifier; said created 908 can comprise a date that a record has been created; said bar code 904 can comprise a bar code ID to be printed out for said packing slip 306; said serial 906 can comprise a unique ID; said producer 910, said lab 912, said client 914 and said cooker 922 can comprise a reference to said id 702 and/or said user name 704 of said user 602; said project 916 can comprise a reference to a project being conducted by one among said user 602; said test ordered 920 can comprise a lookup field for said testing profile 608 identifying one or more tests to be conducted for this sample record among said samples 604; and said courier tracking 924 can comprise a tracking number for said shipping container 304 (as illustrated in Figure 4C).

[0080] Accordingly, in one embodiment, said samples 604 can serve as a central hub for the action in said data storage 110, as it manages the relationships of the parties (from said user 602), the map to the events occurring in said smp events 606 and cross references which among said testing profile 608 are to be performed.

[0081] Figure 9 illustrates said smp events 606. In one embodiment, said smp ref 1004 can comprise a unique identifier for each record in said ID 1002 can comprise a unique identifier for each record in said smp events 606; said smp ref 1004 can comprise a cross reference or lookup field for id 902 of said samples 604; said evt dttm 1006 can comprise a date and time for the event recorded in said smp events 606; said user ref 1008 can comprise a lookup of said id 702 and/or said user name 704 of said user 602; said status 1010 can comprise a status flag (as discussed below); said weight (g) 1012 and said temp (f) 1014 can comprise a weight and temperature of a sample among said one or more samples at a date and time identified by said evt dttm 1006; said notes 1016 can comprise a text field for record keeping purposes; and said location 1018 can comprise a location of said one or more distributed sensor systems at the date and time of said evt dttm 1006. [0082] In one embodiment, said ID 1002 and said evt dttm 1006 can populated automatically with a random unique number and a current date and time, respectively. In one embodiment, said user ref 1008 can be generated by looking a current user's name when an event is entered, as is known in the art. In one embodiment, said status 1010 can comprise one among "Sample Created", "Packaged", "Ready for Pickup", "Picked Up", "In Transit", "Received", "Check In", "Testing", "Tested", "Passed", and "Failed"; and may be a user entered stage where applicable. In one embodiment, the values in said status 1010 can correlate loosely with said testing procedure 400 of Figure 5 A. In one embodiment, said weight (g) 1012 can be entered by a user manually or can be collected automatically from a network connected scale, as discussed above. In one embodiment, said temp (f) 1014 can be read through said temperature sensor 214 of said system- on-a-chip 220 periodically. In one embodiment, said location 1018 can be generated automatically through said location sensor 212 periodically.

[0083] Figure 10 illustrates said testing profile 608. Said id 1102 can comprise a unique identifier and said test types 1104 can comprise a description of a test to be performed. In one embodiment, said testing profile 608 can comprise several more fields spelling out the parameters of the test described in said test types 1104; as would be obvious to one in the art.

[0084] Examples of various testing procedures can comprise DNA testing, salmonella, E. coli, bacteria, or the like.

[0085] Figures 1 1A, 1 IB, 1 1C, 1 ID and 1 IE illustrate a first embodiment 1200a of said quality assurance data 203 as a sample overview 1200, a sample info tab 1202, a parties tab 1204, and a testing profile tab 1206. In one embodiment, said sample overview 1200 can comprise a sample tabs section 1201 and a sample event data 1203. In one embodiment, said sample tabs section 1201 can comprise data related to each among said id 902 of said samples 604, and said sample event data 1203 can comprise a filtered list of said smp events 606 related to the one among said samples 604 identified in said sample tabs section 1201. Accordingly, said sample event data 1203 is a list of events occurring in the life of a sample identified by said sample tabs section 1201.

[0086] Said sample tabs section 1201 can comprise three tabs comprising of said sample info tab 1202, said parties tab 1204 and said testing profile tab 1206. Said sample info tab 1202 can comprise of said id 902, said bar code 904, said serial 906, said created 908, said project 916, said notes 918, and said courier tracking 924.

[0087] Said parties tab 1204 can comprise a chart of the parties and their locations which include a producer nm 1202, a producer 1204, a lab nm 1206, a lab loc 1208, a client nm 1210, a client loc 1212, a cooker nm 1214, and a cooker loc 1216; all of which can be looked up from said user 602 with corresponding values in said samples 604.

[0088] Said testing profile tab 1206 can comprise said test ordered 920, which can comprise a dropdown list which allows multiple selections among said testing profile 608; wherein, a one or more listings of user preferences are included for reference, including a producer test pref 1205, a lab test pref 1209, and a client test pref 1213; each among these values can be looked up through said samples 604 with reference to said testing ref 714 field as a preference for each user.

[0089] In one embodiment, said testing profile tab 1206 can further comprise data related to setting up said one or more samples; such as minimum weights, thicknesses, etc. that a "packer" (one among said "Employees" in said user 602) must prepare. Thus, when said user sets up a new sample, said weight (g) 1012 and said temp (f) 1014 will not accept anything below a minimum threshold. For example, in one embodiment, a preliminary values 1220 of said weight (g) 1012 can comprise 500g and said temp (f) 1014 can comprise 29 degrees Fahrenheit, and said quality assurance data system 100 will not allow a sample outside of a known threshold. Likewise, in one embodiment, said user may be required to take a picture of said one or more samples which can be stored in said data storage 110.

[0090] In one embodiment, said test ordered 920 can be automatically populated by said client test pref 1213 or by combing one or more of the profiles illustrated by said producer test pref 1205, said lab test pref 1209, and/or said client test pref 1213. Here, said test ordered 920 equals the values shown in said client test pref 1213. Thus, said quality assurance data system 100 can managed the testing preferences by having kept a record of a user's preferences at the time of set up. Many variations on this feature can be created without undue experimentation and are hereby incorporated by reference.

[0091] Turning now to said sample event data 1203, as illustrated in Figure 11A, the data works through the steps of said testing procedure 400. For example, in one embodiment, referring to said status 1010,said testing procedure 400 calls for a sample to be created, picked up, delivered, received, checked in, tested and for the results to be posed (here "Passed"). Here, said first distributed sensor system 112a began reading sample information at "3/16/2014 1 1 :20:34" and made a record every hour until "16:20:34" that same day. Accordingly, we have a location and temperature for said first distributed sensor system 1 12a during deliver. Further, said quality assurance data system 100 can ensured that the sample was created correctly, the correct tests were passed to said lab location 404, and that all parties are informed at all times of the status of a sample associated with said first distributed sensor system 1 12a. [0092] Figure 12 illustrates a second embodiment 1200b of said sample overview 1200. In one embodiment, said first embodiment 1200a (above) illustrates said first outcome step 522a (of said ninth step 502k in Figure 5C) and said second embodiment 1200b illustrates said second outcome step 522b. For example, said sample info tab 1202 of said second embodiment 1200b can comprise a "failed" among said status 1010; accordingly, said lot 412 has been sent to a "First.Cooker" identified by said cooker nm 1214.

[0093] Various changes in the details of the illustrated operational methods are possible without departing from the scope of the following claims. Some embodiments may combine the activities described herein as being separate steps. Similarly, one or more of the described steps may be omitted, depending upon the specific operational environment the method is being implemented in. It is to be understood that the above description is intended to be illustrative, and not restrictive. For example, the above-described embodiments may be used in combination with each other. Many other embodiments will be apparent to those of skill in the art upon reviewing the above description. The scope of the invention should, therefore, be determined with reference to the appended claims, along with the full scope of equivalents to which such claims are entitled. In the appended claims, the terms "including" and "in which" are used as the plain-English equivalents of the respective terms "comprising" and "wherein."

Claims

1. A method for quality assurance comprising
implementing a testing procedure comprising:
receiving a request for a one or more samples from a lot through a quality assurance data system,
creating said one or more samples,
assigning a shipping container to said one or more samples,
assigning a one or more unique identifiers to said shipping container and said one or more samples,
shipping said one or more samples between a first location and a second location, monitoring said one or more samples between said first location and said second location,
receiving said one or more samples at said second location, and
performing a one or more tests on said one or more samples; wherein, said quality assurance data system comprises a server and a one or more distributed sensor systems;
said server comprises a storage device, a processors, a memory, and communication hardware components;
said one or more distributed sensor systems capable of monitoring said one or more samples between said first location and said second location;
said one or more distributed sensor systems collect a portion of a quality assurance data and report it back to said server; and
said server comprises a one or more data base tables for tracking said samples, a one or more users, and a one or more events occurring relative to said samples.
2. The method of claim 1 further comprising:
generating said request for a one or more samples from said lot by
receiving a purchase order from a client,
identifying a lot at said first location associated with goods purchased in said purchase order, and generating said request for a one or more samples from said lot.
The method of claim 1 further comprising
tracking a one or more users in a users table in said quality assurance data system; and correlating said one or more interested users with said each among said one or more samples.
The method of claim 3 further comprising
notifying a portion of said one or more interested of sample events.
The method of claim 3 further comprising
tracking a one or more testing profiles associated with each among said one or more users of said quality assurance data system; and
assigning said one or more testing profiles to said testing procedure based on said one or more interested users associated with said one or more samples.
The method of claim 5 further comprising
assigning a one or more testing procedures to a lab at said second location according to said one or more testing profiles associated with said one or more samples.
The method of claim 1 further comprising
running a one or more preliminary tests on said one or more samples prior to shipping said one or more samples.
The method of claim 7 wherein said preliminary tests comprise:
logging a user into said quality assurance data system;
verifying a one or more user qualifications prior to advancing;
loading a one or more preliminary testing parameters;
measuring said one or more samples according to said one or more preliminary testing parameters; and
verifying that said one or more preliminary testing parameters have been completed.
The method of claim 1 further comprising:
entering a one or more results from said quality assurance data system after performing said one or more tests;
notifying said one or more interested parties of said one or more results; and taking a one or more resulting actions according to said one or more results.
10. The method of claim 9 further comprising:
shipping a portion of said lot corresponding to said purchase order to said client if said one or more results are positive.
1 1. The method of claim 9 further comprising:
shipping a portion of said lot to a cooker if said one or more results are negative.
12. The method of claim 1 wherein
said one or more distributed sensor systems are capable of monitoring said one or more samples between said first location and said second location by:
inserting a first distributed sensor system into said shipping container along with said one or more samples,
tracking a temperature of said one or more samples at a recording frequency, collecting said quality assurance data including temperatures at said recording frequency on said first distributed sensor system, and
communicating said quality assurance data to said server;
said one or more distributed sensor systems comprise a processors, a memory, a communication hardware components, a temperature sensor and a power system.
13. The method of claim 12 further comprising:
monitoring a location signal with said one or more distributed sensor systems; wherein, said one or more distributed sensor systems further comprise a location sensor.
14. The method of claim 12 wherein communicating said quality assurance data to said server comprises
passing said quality assurance data from said one or more distributed sensor systems to a one or one or more computers with said communication hardware components of said one or more distributed sensor systems; and
passing said quality assurance data from said one or more computers to said server over a network.
15. The method of claim 12 wherein communicating said quality assurance data to said server comprises
passing said quality assurance data directly from said one or more distributed sensor systems to said sever through a network; wherein said communication hardware components of said one or more distributed sensor systems comprise a mobility wireless platform for data communications through a commercial wide area network.
16. A quality assurance data system comprising:
a server comprising a storage device, a processors, a memory, and communication hardware components;
a one or more distributed sensor systems having a processors, a memory, a communication hardware components, a temperature sensor and a power system; a shipping container with one of said one or more distributed sensor systems attached thereto;
said data storage of said server comprising a one or more database tables for tracking a one or more samples, a one or more users and a one or more sample events; said communication hardware components of said one or more distributed sensor systems communicate with said server;
said one or more distributed sensor systems collect a quality assurance data associated with a one or more samples;
said one or more samples are taken from a lot at a first location;
said quality assurance data comprises a temperature reading of a one among said one or more samples taken at a recording frequency by said one or more distributed sensor systems;
said quality assurance data is communicated from said one or more distributed sensor systems to said server, is processed by said server and stored in said data storage; and said one or more distributed sensor systems accompany said one or more testing equipment between said first location and a second location.
17. The quality assurance data system of claim 16 wherein:
said one or more distributed sensor systems further comprise a location sensor;
said location sensor provides a location data to said one or more distributed sensor systems; and
said location data is included with said quality assurance data and reported to said server.
18. The quality assurance data system of claim 16 wherein:
said server identifies a one or more interested parties from said database table corresponding to said one or more users; and
said server loads said testing procedure, customizes it according to a one or more user preferences, and tracks a status of each of said one or more samples according to said testing procedure.
19. The quality assurance data system of claim 18 wherein:
said server requires users to follow a one or more testing preferences according in order to progress through said testing procedure.
20. The quality assurance data system of claim 18 wherein:
said server notifies said one or more interested parties at predefined stages in a testing procedure.
21. The quality assurance data system of claim 18 wherein:
said server requires loads a preliminary testing procedure when said one or more samples are created.
22. The quality assurance data system of claim 16 wherein:
said server tracks a testing results from said one or more samples and associated them with said lot.
23. The quality assurance data system of claim 22 wherein:
said server provides a report to a client among said one or more interested parties of a testing results of said one or more samples.
24. The quality assurance data system of claim 23 wherein:
said server stores said testing results and makes them accessible to consumers of portions of said lot according to a unique identifier and a URL.
25. The quality assurance data system of claim 16 wherein:
said quality assurance data system further comprises a one or more testing equipment at said first location and said second location;
said one or more testing equipment comprise a scales at said first location; and said testing procedure requires a reading of a weight of said one or more samples prior to shipment.
26. The quality assurance data system of claim 25 wherein: said one or more testing equipment are connected to said server through said network.
27. A computer usable medium having a computer readable program code embodied therein, wherein the computer readable program code is adapted to be executed to implement the method of claim 1.
PCT/US2014/030884 2013-03-15 2014-03-17 Quality assurance of food quality assessment WO2014146014A1 (en)

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Citations (4)

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