What is Enterprise Biosecurity?

Biosecurity is all the risk management practices protecting living things from biological threats. Biosecurity protects people, animals, and plants from harmful microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, as well as protozoa and pests. Biosecurity aims to stop the introduction of these threats, but if they are already present, it tries to stop their spread.

Take for example the humble strawberry. Biosecurity includes applying fungicides to the plants while growing them and during the post-harvest process. It is also disinfecting all contact surfaces to eliminate cross-contamination, and then refrigerating the strawberries along the supply chain until the consumer buys it.

How is Enterprise Biosecurity Different?

Enterprise biosecurity is the discipline of protecting living things from biological threats, in a connected and integrated manner across the business and along the supply chain. If biosecurity initiatives are the dots, then enterprise biosecurity is the line connecting them.

Let’s look at our strawberries again. What does enterprise biosecurity look like for them?

  • Is the the farm physically safe?
  • Would we know if an intruder came during the night?
  • Would we know what an intruder was driving and the license plate?
  • Could we detect them climbing over the fence and how could we deter them at 3AM if we even did know?
  • How’s the air quality, soil moisture level, and irrigation system pump, and are there any trending risks?
  • Are we 100% sure we have eliminated all microorganisms from our clean-in-place and well as clean-out-of-place equipment?
  • Along the supply chain to the retailer are we sure the temperature and humidity was kept within bounds all the way and are there digital logs to prove it?
  • In cold storage, what’s protecting our vulnerable berries? The post-harvest biocide’s residual effect has long-since worn off, so nothing is there to destroy any freshly introduced pathogen or food spoilage microbe.

EPIC iO has a suite of solutions that directly addresses the broader challenges of enterprise biosecurity. EPIC iO uses DeepInsights, the AI and IoT platform, to accumulate and process vast amounts of data from many sensors, searching for anomalies and hidden trends, to keep people, animals, and plants safer. For example the H5N1 avian flu has already led to the cull of 36 million chickens and turkeys in 2022. When one is detected with it, the entire flock is always destroyed to stem the spread, in a harrowing 1–4-hour process where the ventillation is shut down to cause the birds to die of heatstroke, or they are suffocated with water-based foam. But the virus had to have originated from the outside and that is where the broader definition of enterprise biosecurity comes in – physical security, sanitation, monitoring and air purification together helps mitigate the threat.

We use DeepInsights with cameras and AI to detect people and vehicles crossing perimeter lines and log their plates. We use it to activate bright warning lights, sirens, and loud talk-down speakers. DeepInsights uses IoT to sense temperature, humidity, air quality, electrical current flow, water levels and propane levels for backup generators. It leverages chemical-free sanitation for food processing, cleaning crates and pallets and shipping containers. DeepInsights also uses these techniques for air-borne microbial filtration, ethylene scrubbing, and for long-term protection for the surface of fresh produce in cold storage. Finally, DeepInsights automatically maintains compliance logs the strawberry’s entire journey from farm to retailer.

Biosecurity applies to several industries. At first glance fresh produce processing and cold storage, an egg incubator and hatchery, a refrigerated truck, even waiting rooms, school classrooms and buses, all appear to be unrelated. But from an enterprise biosecurity perspective they share much in common.

When it comes to biosecurity, there’s a lot we can do to help keep everyone safe. Contact us to learn more.

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