Food

Examples for Using the Food Defense Mitigation Strategies Database

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The examples detailed below are written based on the four food defense principles, and can be applied to a broad-spectrum of industries and company sizes.

Select the category which best describes your operation to view possible mitigation strategies: 

Uniformly mixed products/batches

This category would include products such as ground beef, processed meats, baked goods, and/or other processed products that are uniformly homogenized. Below is a list of mitigation strategies that would help alleviate vulnerabilities frequently associated with these production processes.

  • Securing all cleaning and sanitation supplies
  • Restricting equipment controls to authorized personnel
  • Securing all sampling ports
  • Securing air vents with one way valves
  • Conducting a visual inspection prior to using the mixer
  • When practical, using self-contained equipment
  • Protecting the integrity of compressed air/inert gases if used at the mixer
  • Engineering equipment controls to preclude unauthorized use or access
  • Using engineering applications to limit accessibility where practical
  • Restricting physical access to the mixer
  • Positioning the mixer for maximum visibility
  • Ensuring that all equipment removed from the production environment are cleaned/sanitized/inspected prior to returning to service

It is recommended that companies select the appropriate mitigations that best fit their needs.

Large batch size

This category would include liquid storage silos, tanker trucks, and/or other food service products/ingredients that are batched in large volumes. Below is a list of mitigation strategies that would help alleviate vulnerabilities frequently associated with industries handling these types of products/ingredients.

  • Restricting equipment controls to authorized personnel
  • Using Clean-in-Place (CIP) equipment when possible
  • Securing any unused ports
  • Securing all air vents with one way valves
  • Filtering all compressed gases used at the hopper
  • Installing an alarm system at hopper access points and sampling ports
  • Ensuring adequate lighting around the hopper
  • Installing windows in offices to enable easy observation of the production floor
  • Ensuring that all equipment removed from the production environment is cleaned/ sanitized/ inspected prior to returning to service
  • Requiring that all contractors hired for cleaning and maintenance operations have adequate employee screening procedures
  • Verifying/auditing service contractor’s employee screening plan
  • If logical at this stage in processing, add or increase non-thermal treatments to FDA limits approved for the commodity in process (e.g., irradiation, UV light)

It is recommended that companies select the appropriate mitigations that best fit their needs.

Short shelf life products

This category would include fluid dairy/milk, perishable items, and/or other processed products that must be refrigerated. Below is a list of mitigation strategies that would help alleviate vulnerabilities frequently associated with industries processing these types of products.

  • Cover offerings during transport from prep area to food bar
  • Restrict food handling to designated employees
  • Restrict unit cleaning to specific employees
  • Secure cleaning supplies away from unit
  • Training employees to be cognizant of suspicious behavior
  • Developing a policy and protocol for dealing with “suspect product”
  • Utilize frequent employee unit servicing (cleaning, changing or freshening offerings)
  • Minimizing offering quantities to necessitate increased employee presence at unit
  • Locate food bar self serve unit in high visibility area
  • Encourage (designated) employee foot traffic through food bar area
  • Locate food bar away from premises exits (to enhance observation of surreptitious acts)

It is recommended that companies select the appropriate mitigations that best fit their needs.

Easily accessible entry points

This category would include components such as back doors to your operation, loading docks, employee entrances, and/or other entry points to your operation. Below is a list of mitigation strategies that would help alleviate vulnerabilities frequently associated with these factors.

  • Confirm the identity and credentials for all job applicants being considered for employment.
  • Install a perimeter fence, wall or barrier with appropriate clear zone.
  • Install adequate interior and exterior lighting to facilitate detection of suspicious activities.
  • Install “No Trespassing” signs at regular intervals along the fence.
  • Install surveillance cameras.
  • Install an alarm system (e.g., motion, infrared).
  • Install alarmed self-locking emergency exit doors.
  • Secure all facility openings when not in use, including freight loading doors, windows, roof openings/hatches, vent openings, ventilation systems, utility rooms, ice manufacturing and storage rooms, loft areas and trailer bodies, and bulk storage tanks.
  • Minimize the number of entrances to non-public areas of your facility. Be sure to consult any relevant Federal, State, or local fire and occupational safety code before making changes.
  • Add a receptionist or security guard at facility entrance to screen employees, contractors and visitors.
  • Restrict visitor access to food handling and storage areas.

It is recommended that companies select the appropriate mitigations that best fit their needs.

Page Last Updated: 06/17/2014
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