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Fogo de Chão 1st U.S. Restaurant Chain To Track, Trace Meat Using Blockchain

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- Brazilian steakhouse chain Fogo de Chão says it's the first restaurant chain in the country to use blockchain technology to track and trace the meat it serves.

On Tuesday, the restaurant announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with HerdX, an AgTech startup.

"Our main goal is to promote the legacy of the two percent of people that actually raise the animals that Americans eat," said Austin Adams, CTO of HerdX. "By doing that, we're also able to create a safer supply chain."

Fogo De Chao and HerdX QR Code
The QR code that will appear on Fogo de Chão's menu, which customers can scan. (CBS)

The company uses blockchain technology to monitor the health and whereabouts of herds of animals. Its digital tracking system connects cattle operators across the country. They can also monitor the health and behavior of their livestock.

"We can see where the animal was born, we can see all the stages of the animal's life on a semi-public network so the consumer can actually see that," said Adams.

Once the technology is live, restaurant menus will feature QR scan codes. Customers can scan the codes with their phones and it will take them to the HerdX website, which shows them what the cattle were fed, where they came from and when the one they'll eat was shipped to San Francisco.

"We want to know the provenance of the food that we eat, whether it's the vineyard that our wine comes from or the ranch that the beef comes from, it helps us makes more informed decisions," said Kim Johnson of San Francisco.

Fogo de Chão plans to test the meat with diners in the next six to nine months before it begins a countrywide rollout.

The restaurant also said it doesn't plan to price the HerdX meat any differently than the other steaks on the menu.

"We've got one of the safest food supplies in the world, everybody's been very conscientious about it, and what's great is technology is just advancing the conversation. And now with blockchain, it's going to accelerate it," said Barry McGowan, CEO of Fogo de Chão.

The restaurant says it wants to set the industry standard and it thinks the technology will give diners more confidence in what they're eating.

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