Food Defense Plan Builder

Food Defense Plan BuilderThe 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

DOWNLOAD the Food Defense Plan Builder
(view system requirements)

WATCH the training videos

Workshops available introducing the Food Defense Plan Builder

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Food Defense?
Food Defense is the effort to protect the food supply against intentional contamination due to sabotage, terrorism, counterfeiting, or other illegal, intentionally harmful means. Potential contaminants include biological, chemical and radiological hazards that are generally not found in foods or their production environment. Food defense differs from food safety, which is the effort to prevent unintentional contamination of food products by agents reasonably likely to occur in the food supply (e.g., E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria).

What is a food defense plan?
A food defense plan is a written document that records the practices implemented to control/minimize the risk of an intentional contamination incident. Having a food defense plan can reduce the overall vulnerability of the facility’s food operation, and therefore the nation’s food supply, from intentional contamination.

How do I get the Food Defense Plan Builder?
You can download the Food Defense Plan Builder by following the instructions on DOWNLOAD the Food Defense Plan Builder.

Is there a cost to download or use the tool?
As with all of FDA’s food defense tools, there is no fee for downloading or using the Food Defense Plan Builder.

Who will benefit from using the Food Defense Plan Builder?
The tool is designed for use throughout the food industry, both domestically and internationally, and will aid companies in protecting their food products from an intentional contamination incident. All food facilities can benefit from having a food defense plan.

Are food defense plans required by the FDA?
Currently, food defense plans are voluntary. However, FDA encourages all food facilities to develop and implement a food defense plan. A food defense plan will help you maintain a safe working environment for your employees, provide a quality product to your customers, and protect your bottom line. FDA’s guidance, tools, and resources for industry on food defense represent the agency’s current thinking on the measures that food facilities may take to minimize the risk for intentional contamination.

Is FDA planning to provide any additional training on the use of the Food Defense Plan Builder?
Yes, FDA is currently planning a series of one-day Food Defense Awareness Workshops, based on the Food Defense Plan Builder, to assist members of the food industry in developing a food defense plan for their facilities.

How is the Food Defense Plan Builder different from other FDA tools?
The Food Defense Plan Builder is an additional tool available free of charge from the FDA to assist the food industry with food defense planning. The Food Defense Plan Builder harnesses existing FDA tools and resources for food defense planning into one single place. These existing tools and resources include FDA’s food defense guidance documents, Vulnerability Assessment Software Tool, and the Mitigation Strategies Database.

If I download the tool will FDA have access to my computer or the files I’ve created using the tool?
The Food Defense Plan Builder is a desktop tool that resides only on the user’s computer. FDA does not track or monitor its use and does not have access to any content or documents developed using this tool. FDA encourages but does not require users to provide their contact information when downloading the tool in order to receive updates and news on the Food Defense Plan Builder. Food defense plans and other related documents created by using this tool are stored only in the locations selected by the user. Food defense plans may include sensitive information and it is the user’s responsibility to ensure files are saved in a secure location.

What are the computer requirements to download and use the tool?
User’s computer configuration must meet the minimum requirements outlined in the table below in order for the Food Defense Plan Builder to operate correctly. Please note that the tool is only compatible with Windows Operating Systems and is not compatible with Mac Operating Systems.

If you have additional questions or need more information, please email

System Requirements

Computer2.80 GHz3.0 GHz
RAM512 MB1000 MB (1 GB)
Hard Disk Space100 MB125MB
Operating SystemWindows XPWindows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7
Graphics CardVGAVGA


Page Last Updated: 01/15/2015
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