FOOD DEFENSE: Food Defense Plans

FOOD DEFENSE: Planes de defensa alimentaria

Food Defense Plans (Food Defense) have gained interest since been introduced as a new chapter in the latest versions of the BRC and IFS standards.

Food defense focuses on protecting the food supply against deliberate contamination by chemicals, biological agents or other harmful substances applied by people who wish to do harm.

Food intentional pollution are associated with a group of toxic or deadly agents, unrelated to the process. Not to be confused with the unintentional contamination, linked to the concept of food safety, which refers to accidental contamination of food products during processing and storage, biological, chemical and physical agents. This type of contamination is reasonably predictable according to the type of processing and is the basis of the system of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points.

The concept of food defense also has a preventive approach. It includes the use of different tools to prevent a terrorist attack, trying to locate the most vulnerable points of the installation. Two of the important sections of the food defense plan is the approval of suppliers, which must be operators confidence, which in turn implement food safety measures and internal control of employees: its history, access control, etc.

The Bioterrorism Act arises in 2002 in the United States in response to ensure the safety of public health to terrorist acts suffered by bioterrorism. In 2004, the policy for the ‘Food Defense’ is set protecting food and agricultural systems against terrorist attacks, disasters and other emergencies.

Version 6 of the applicable IFS standard since July 2012 include a mandatory chapter 6 Food Defense, which establishes specific requirements related to safety and security measures to deliberate attempts to contamination or damage of products (evaluation defense, plant safety, safety of staff and visitors and external inspections). Hazard analysis and assessment of associated risks Food Defense should be done once a year or every change affecting food integrity, have defined an appropriate system of alerts and their effectiveness is checked regularly.

The implementation of food defense plan is also reflected in the BRC standard, version 6 includes the safety requirement 4.2 points a food defense plan, although not called Food Defense.

Since the training of food industries is considered as an essential element for the implementation of the plans of Food Defense, the Department of Technical Services Betelgeux offers different courses related to Food Defense, both to facilitate its implementation and for the food industry workers contribute to the maintenance of this plan.

There are already many or almost all food safety standards that have integrated these requirements within it. Some time ago it is also regulated in countries like the US. While in Europe the legislation still not so explicit, are issues that we must not ignore.

In this article you will see the 5 keys to understanding about Food Defense

The future of food defense (Food Defense)

For the first time, the food companies are forced to develop a plan Food Defense (Defense Alimantaria), in order to harmonize international requirements. The ACCPP System (HACCP) gives us the tools to assess the accidental hazards on food and its production, but we must go further. We must contemplate the possible dangers intentioned, intended to prevent intentional adulteration resulting from specific acts of terrorism aimed at providing food.

Where HACCP establishes us means to prevent or reduce unintentional, accidental hazards. Food Defense requires mitigation strategies for food manufacturing processes at a high level.

To develop a Food Defense Plan, we will divide into 4 blocks to make it simpler us, you’ll see:

Vulnerability Assessment

It will consist of the correct identification of weaknesses within each phase of production flow chart of food.

At each point, stage or phase of the production process is necessary to evaluate:

The severity and magnitude of the potential impact on public health (think: probability and severity). For this you can take into account, for example:

  • Consider the volume of the product available to the consumer
  • The type of consumer
  • potential agents of interest, benefits can be achieved with the act of sabotage
  • Infectious / lethal of each portion or serving of food doses.
  • The possible number of diseases and death
  • The degree of physical access to the product.
  • The presence of physical barriers, difficulties or ease of access to food or productive flow.
  • The ability to successfully contaminate the product according to the nature of the product
  • Mitigation strategies or attenuation

This is to reduce the risk strategies, which must be identified in your plan and implemented in every step of the production process. It is to provide the necessary assurances that vulnerabilities are effectively minimized or at least prevent.

Management components mitigation strategy

Facilities must have suitable facilities for proper operation and production of food supplied preventive measures

Measures should be taken to ensure proper implementation of each mitigation strategy. These preventive measures shall be:

Monitored: Establish and implement procedures and methodology incorporating the frequency of revision of the effective functioning of preventive measures
defined corrective actions: define appropriate to activate as quickly as possible corrective action if the plan stops working properly established
Verification: we must ensure that the corrective action plan and are effective for the purpose proposed
Training and record keeping

It is essential that the Food Defense Plan is disseminated among staff involved. That all staff have the ability to detect any sabotage. You can block any suspect product and have sufficient tools to scale to their superiors any fault identification in the food defense plan.

To involve all staff, through training is often the best and most effective method.

They should keep records of such training, as well as the actions of monitoring, verification and implementation of corrective actions.

We find that rule these requirements.

We have already said that the US is already legislative requirement, while in other countries are private requirements found in standards such as the following:

BRC V7: in 4.2 Security, and states that we must ensure that food products are protected against sabotage in areas controlled by the company.
IFS V6: has a whole chapter, Chapter 6 and adopts the name of FOD DEFENSE and external inspections.
FSCC22000: Chapter 18 of the ISO TS22002 standard where we set the protection requirements of food, biomonitoring and bioterrorism.
I gave the example of the three certifiable food safety standards greatest impact on the sector.

 

FOOD DEFENSE: Food Defense Plans

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