Former FDA Deputy Commissioner Joins IoT Technology Company

Yiannas will be providing guidance on the FSMA Rule 204 strategy for safe tracking of food products and sharing of traceability data.

3 Min Read
FDA's Yiannas joins IoT company
Yiannas will be providing Wiliot guidance on the FSMA Rule 204 strategy and helping educate the market on how the ambient IoT can enable retailers and food producers comply with FDA’s new traceability rule and enable a new era of smarter food safety.Image courtesy of B4lls / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Frank Yiannas, former Deputy Commissioner of Food Policy & Response of the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), has joined Internet of Things technology provider Wiliot as a strategic advisor.

Yiannas will help advise the food and retail markets on ways in which the ambient IoT, and the real-time, item-level visibility it delivers, can help meet the FSMA Rule 204 obligation that requires the safe tracking of food products and the sharing of traceability data with FDA and consumers.

"The FDA's New Food Traceability Rule has become a catalyst for retailers to modernize their supply chains," said Tal Tamir, CEO at Wiliot. "Frank's leadership in food safety and response will be pivotal in helping us educate the market on how this moment and the adoption of ambient IoT by some of the world's largest retailers can enable the food business to meet their societal and regulatory traceability requirements."

Ambient IoT is a battery-free wireless technology that is being incorporated into multiple wireless standards, such as Bluetooth, 5G Advanced, 6G, and Wi-Fi — allowing food, medicine, and clothing to be connected to the internet and the power of AI at a fraction of the cost of legacy technologies.

The solution enables a new real-time inventory that not only benefits compliance and safety, but is the key to more efficient store operations, surviving and thriving in the face of omni-channel competition, and competing on quality as well as value. 

In addition to Yiannas' ambient IoT industry thought leadership, he will also advise Wiliot on how to best leverage its platform within the food safety ecosystem to achieve enhanced food safety and traceability. He will collaborate with executives, solutions development leaders, and sales and marketing teams on the appropriate approach for retailers to achieve FSMA Rule 204 compliance using its Visibility Platform and advise on key partnerships with consultants, systems integrators, and applications software vendors to bolster the platform to enable food companies and their software application partners to deliver a comprehensive FSMA Rule 204 solution.

"Modernizing food safety is critical to the health and wellbeing of people everywhere," Yiannas said. "This goal cannot be achieved without creating greater transparency and traceability throughout the entire food continuum — across farms, food processing and distribution centers, and retail stores. Wiliot, through its pioneering use of ambient IoT, is in a unique position to enable this transparency to become a reality faster and more efficiently than others. They have demonstrated that their Visibility Platform — using battery-free postage stamp-sized IoT Pixels — is a game-changer that can significantly help the entire food industry create safer, more traceable supply chains."

The FDA's FSMA Rule 204 rule establishes a foundation for end-to-end food traceability by focusing on tracking food at each step across the supply chain and expands beyond 'one-up, one-back' traceability. The goal of Rule 204 is to create visibility within the supply chain to enable a better response to foodborne illnesses, contamination, and other public health and safety issues. The rule, which has now been finalized, has a January 2026 compliance deadline.

"Frank tends not to focus on vendor solutions, so his appointment is a testament to the merits of this new wave of ambient IoT tools," said Tamir. "It represents the latest evolution of RFID technology and builds upon its successes in ways that helps retailers to reduce labor costs, increase efficiencies, manage their carbon footprint – all while also achieving FSMA Rule 204 compliance."

Wiliot is already working with some of the world's largest food retailers and companies on ambient IoT projects that ensure FSMA Rule 204 compliance, an initiative that will now be accelerated by Yiannas' appointment.

About the Author(s)

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

Established in 1983, Powder & Bulk Solids (PBS) serves industries that process, handle, and package dry particulate matter, including the food, chemical, and pharmaceutical markets.

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