Call for Help - Defending the Food Supply

There are plots to use food as a delivery mechanism for weapons of mass destruction and plots to intentionally alter food products for economic gain. As such, food defense is everybody’s business. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently asking for comments that would help mitigate the intentional adulteration of the food supply.

Food Defense Activities - A Year in Review

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a staff of people dedicated to protecting the nation’s food supply. These Food Defense and Emergency Coordination Staff members are actively participating in conferences, meetings, and exercises throughout the year and providing valuable tools to national and international stakeholders. A summary of the 2013 activities provides a glimpse of these collaborative efforts.

'Game Day' Food Defense: Enhanced Business as Usual

With more than 40 Olympic venues serving an estimated 14 million meals, the 2012 London Olympic Games were susceptible to many potential foodborne illnesses – both intentional and unintentional. However, through education, communications, surveillance, and a focus on surge capacity, London provided a model that could help protect the food supply at other mass gatherings around the world.

Protecting the Food Supply Outside the Walls

When food products disappear, there are no serial or vehicle identification numbers to identify these stolen goods when they re-enter legal markets. Although there is a significant financial concern to the companies, a greater public concern is the safety of the food itself – ranging from improper handling and storage to intentional adulteration.

Checklists for All-Hazards Food Defense Planning

In the not-too-distant past, most food consumed by Americans traveled directly from the farm to the kitchen table. Today, there are a dozen or so stops of varying duration on the way – all of them vulnerable to mold, theft, sabotage, spoiling, and/or infection from zoonotic diseases.

Food Processors - Recovery Before a Recall

Recovery begins during the planning stage. As past unintentional cases of food contamination have shown, the effects of an intentional incident could be extremely costly to food processors and the nation as a whole. Understanding the features that processors should include in their recovery plans will help to quickly restore operations and public trust.

TECHNOLOGY ALERT

Performance Standards Introduced For Rapid Biological Field Tests AOAC International Approves RAMP following US Department of Homeland Security Sponsored Evaluation

New Mexico - 'Defensive' About Agriculture & Food

In a state with a large agricultural and food industry, protecting that infrastructure is a difficult yet necessary task that New Mexico takes very seriously. Guidance and support from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have helped initiate innovative programs and exercises to protect the state’s cattle, alfalfa hay, milk, cheese, pecans, chile, and other agricultural products.

Productivity & Multiagency Meetings

When multiagency meetings take time away from everyday tasks, productivity may decrease – but only temporarily. Those participating in such meetings should recognize, though, that the productivity lost that day usually will be reimbursed, with interest, when the same participants simultaneously respond to future incidents.

Training & Protecting the First On-Scene Responders

When a chemical or biological attack occurs, the first responders on the scene need the proper training and equipment not only to protect themselves but also to save others during the critical first ours after the attack. Today, unfortunately, not all of the nation’s responders receive the same training and/or possess the same equipment.
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