FDA’s Food Defense Oversight Team’s Outreach, Collaboration, and Awareness: The Expanding Umbrella of Food Protection

Jason P. Bashura, MPH


The FDA works with other government agencies and private sector organizations to help reduce the risk of tampering or other malicious, criminal, or terrorist actions on the food and cosmetic supply. In cooperation with these partners, FDA has issued training tools and industry guidance. These initiatives are intended to assist food producers, warehouses, importers, stores, restaurants, and other food establishments minimize the risk that their food will be subject to terrorism. This lecture will serve to introduce / summarize these initiatives, discuss their implementation and respond to attendee’s questions surrounding FDA’s food defense efforts. This presentation will briefly review numerous projects and initiatives that the FDOT has completed, or is in the process of finishing, in an attempt to illustrate outreach, collaboration, education and training opportunities to environmental health personnel. The topics of interest (ONLY one or two slides on each of these various projects!) to be reviewed include:

As the FDA has previously presented on ALERT to the NEHA TAP section, it will be briefly reviewed and the FDA’s newly released FIRST” campaign intends to educate frontline food industry workers from farm to table about the risk of intentional food contamination and the actions they can take to identify and reduce these risks. The Employees FIRST video will be discussed and made available to attendees.

This software enables the user to identify potentially attractive targets, determine the most vulnerable points (“nodes”) in their infrastructure, and focus resources on mitigations.

The FDOT assisted (fall 2008) in the identification of successful grant applicants that have received $40,000 to aid in the development of various tools, programs to aid / assist in providing awareness education and training to regulated food service entities.

In 2003 FDA published guidance documents to assist in identifying preventative measures intended to reduce the risk of intentional contamination. This guidance has been enhanced to include a ‘Self Assessment Tool’ that will be presented.

This presentation will provide an overview of several of the key FDOT activities and provide direction to attendees as to where they can access additional information related to food defense initiatives.