FDA Food Defense Plan Builder - What is it?

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Nowadays, it is necessary to safeguard our food supply from being a target of domestic terrorism.

Is it easy for anyone to walk into your facility and gain access to the manufacturing floor?

"Food production and processing systems, restaurants and grocery stores might not be considered on the frontline for national defense, but every American eats food and drinks water." (Robert A. Norton, PhD.)

"While it is possible that there may be points, steps or procedures in food manufacturing environments that may have vulnerabilities, just as in our personal lives, the mere presence of a “vulnerability” is not an indication that our food—or we—are at risk, unless there is an identifiable hazard (threat). Vulnerability is the state of being subject to an act of IA and is not the equivalent of risk of an IA event. Hazards (threats) must accompany vulnerability for risk to be present, and these hazards must be the focus of prevention. Thus, risk assessments are the rational choice for determining where within a food manufacturing facility or retail establishment food defense mitigation strategies are most likely to protect food and, ultimately, the consumer." (Food Safety Summit - Jason Bashura, MPH, RS, PepsiCo, and Hal King, Ph.D., Public Health Innovations)

The Food Defense Plan Builder is a user-friendly software program designed to assist owners and operators of food facilities with developing personalized food defense plans for their facilities. This user-friendly tool harnesses existing FDA tools, guidance, and resources for food defense into one single application.


The Food Defense Plan Builder guides the user through the following sections:

  • Company Information
  • Broad Mitigation Strategies
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • Focused Mitigation Strategies
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Action Plan
  • Supporting Documents

This platform is an excellent, free plan builder. It is helpful to pinpoint areas in your facility that may be lacking in proper procedures and quality standards.

Some subcategories include:

  • General Inside Security
    • Is there emergency lighting?
  • Logistics and Storage Security
  • Management
    • Are background checks and/or reference checks conducted on all contractors who will be working in sensitive operations?


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