(Bloomberg) -- If you shop at Wal-Mart, you might be buying packaged produce unlike any ever sold in a U.S. store.

The sliced apples or cut broccoli -- the merchant won’t say what’s involved exactly -- are being used to test blockchain, a new database technology. If successful, the trial could change how Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which serves some 260 million customers a week, monitors food and takes action when something goes wrong. That could spur big leaps in food safety, cut costs and save lives.

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