Assembling a Food Defense Team

Writing and managing the food defense plan for an operation should not be a one-person job. Instead, consider assembling a team made up of the key personnel who are familiar with most aspects of the operation. These personnel also should be in positions to take responsibility for enacting and helping manage the plan and must be trained in food defense awareness. University extension personnel, insurance agents, county emergency managers, or members of the law enforcement community can also be included on the initial team to help with vulnerability assessments. However, the team that manages the plan should consist of employees from the operation.

What Other Documentation and Supplemental Information Should Operations Gather for Developing the Food Defense Plan?

When ready to begin the plan, gather the following documents: a detailed and labeled map of the facility; all written operational procedures, such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans, Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs), Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), Quality Assurance Plans and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs); and procedures related to the workforce, such as preemployment screening and security training. Supplemental publications are available to help ensure the food defense team considers all of the important areas of the operation and can be found through USDA FSIS, FDA, university extension, and food industry websites. These websites offer potential worksheets, food defense planning exercises, and model plans.

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