- The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) work jointly and with other federal agencies, as well as state, local, and tribal government agencies to develop and implement food defense strategies. Food defense is the protection of food products from intentional contamination or adulteration intended to harm the public or cause economic disruption. Food defense is a required component of food safety plans for all regulated food facilities.
- USDA’s September 27, 2019 constituent update highlights the availability of resources on the agency’s Food Defense Tools, Resources, and Training webpage, which includes a link to FDA’s Food Defense Plan Builder. Launched August 22, 2017 (as covered here), the Food Defense Plan Builder is software that may assist owners and operators of food facilities with developing personalized food defense plans for their facilities. FDA updated the Food Defense Plan Builder on September 19, 2019 and is providing an informational webinar on October 10, 2019 (registration is required).
- In addition to safeguarding the nation’s food supply against intentional contamination or adulteration that is perpetrated for the express purpose of causing public harm or economic disruption, food defense and recall plans also serve to protect the public from food that is tampered with through social media pranks. As covered here, for example, a spurt of viral videos this summer of people licking or spitting on food prompted FDA to issue a reminder on strategies to prevent tampering and intentional adulteration of foods and cosmetics in grocery stores.
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