Thursday, May 16, 2013 by Lee Mannering
A few weeks ago, I shared that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had published a report titled Analysis of Results for FDA Food Defense Vulnerability Assessments and Identification of Activity Types. This report compiled findings from vulnerability assessments FDA has conducted on more than 50 products or processes, leading to the identification of processing steps of highest concern and to potential mitigation strategies to reduce vulnerabilities.
More recently, FDA released a new tool to help bolster the food industry’s defense measures against an act of intentional food contamination. The Food Defense Plan Builder is a software program designed to help owners and operators of food facilities—ranging from primary production and manufacturing to retail and transportation—develop customized plans to minimize the risk of intentional contamination at their individual food facilities.
The Food Defense Plan Builder guides users through a series of substantive questions about the user’s food facility and the food manufactured, processed, packed or held there to develop a comprehensive food defense plan for the facility, which includes a vulnerability assessment, broad and focused mitigation strategies, and an action plan.
The FDA does not require food facilities to implement food defense plans, but many facilities (including those in the fresh produce industry) have voluntarily put such plans into place as a result of the provisions of the Bioterrorism Act of 2002.
Should you wish to consider this new resource into your food defense plan strategy, visit the FDA website.