New food defense tool available from FDA

bag_of_groceries_blogThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has added a tool to its arsenal against intentional food adulteration and contamination.

The new software – the Food Defense Plan Builder – is designed to help food facility operators easily develop plans to prevent intentional contamination. Although FDA doesn’t require food defense plans, many companies still implement them to ensure products are safe.

Food defense refers to methods of protecting the food supply from intentional adulteration from terrorism, counterfeiting or any other illegal or dangerous means. If differs from food safety in that food safety deals with preventing unintentional contamination whereas food defense helps prevent intentional contamination.

FDA has released several food defense tools following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks as a way to safeguard the U.S. food supply, according to a statement from FDA. Although intentional contamination is rare, it has occurred.

The software helps users work through a range of questions regarding their process, from manufacturing to packaging. It then assists users in designing a food defense plan based on the FDA’s food defense guidance documents.

“The FDA is committed to providing best practices and resources to support industry as we pursue our shared goal of protecting our food supply,” said FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael Taylor in a statement. “We strongly encourage companies to take full advantage of the Food Defense Plan Builder.”

Oh, and did we mention? The software is free and available for download here.

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