Intentional Adulteration & Food Defense

Intentional Adulteration & Food Defense

The dangers of intentional food contamination and the need for preventive measures became clear to the industry following two high-profile events that took place a few years ago. A Minnesota woman was convicted on two felony counts related to contaminating food with sand and dirt from the parking lot. Some 28 tons of chicken was subsequently recalled. There was also an incident in the UK in 2018 where an individual used counterfeit identification to gain employment at a food manufacturer where he and his girlfriend started to devise a plan to poison food using ricin.  

The FDA has stepped in with a comprehensive, preventive plan called Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration. The food defense plan is intended to guard against acts like those mentioned above, which might cause wide-scale harm to the public. Navigating these important regulations isn’t always easy but Food Safety and Quality Services is here to help, offering Food Defense Classes meant to keep your company in compliance – and your customers safe.

Intentional Adulteration | Food Defense

What is Intentional Adulteration?

The goal is to prevent a person or group of people from intentionally doing something that will cause food-borne illness or death on a mass scale. Companies are required to develop and implement a food-defense plan by focusing on vulnerabilities within the plant. Steps must then be taken to prevent or minimize these dangers. That might mean simply closing an open hatch, or something more complex like changes in staffing so that areas aren’t left unattended. The Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration focuses more on several key areas that present possible vulnerabilities in the food production and preparation process – including mixing or ingredient-adding areas, bulk loading or receiving, and storage and holding areas. These are known as Key Activity Types (KAT’s).

What is Food Defense

Companies begin with a vulnerability assessment, pinpointing process elements that post the greatest possible risk for intentional adulteration. They then must put in place preventative or mitigating measures, followed by a monitoring framework so that corrective actions and verification of new food defense measures can be accounted for through rigorous recordkeeping. All staff and supervisors who work in vulnerable areas at the facility are required to take food defense awareness courses in order to best understand existing rules and to stay current on any FDA updates.

Be Ready For Any Threat

Everyone, from front-line workers and managers all the way up to CEOs, has a stake in protecting our food supply. That’s why FSQ Services provides Intentional Adulteration Classes featuring a standardized, FDA-approved curriculum taught by Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance-trained lead instructors.

Our Food Defense Management Certification also provides training on the Intentional Adulteration Rule blended with the Global Food Defense Institute’s expertise in crisis management and employee training. Register for one of our upcoming classes or contact us today to schedule your in-house training.

About the author

Food Safety Specialist Lance Roberie

Lance Roberie

Food Safety Consultant and Trainer

Lance Roberie has over 20 years of quality assurance and food safety experience within the food industry. Mr. Roberie holds the following certifications:

Lance and the Food Safety & Quality Services’ training curriculum will advance your team's food safety knowledge through certified training, consulting, and “real life” industry scenarios.

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