July 20, 2011
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made the Food Related Emergency Exercise Boxed Set (FREE-B) publicly available at: http://www.FDA.gov/FoodDefense. FDA developed this tool in cooperation with the CDC and the USDA’s APHIS and FSIS to allow stakeholders to examine their food emergency response functions.
Target stakeholders include: government regulatory and public health entities, private sector – and non-traditional partners such as the first responder, emergency management and law enforcement communities.
FREE-B has been designed to provide a set of five (5) scenarios to enable stakeholders to collaborate and communicate on a variety of human- and animal-health related incidents.
Through participation in any of the scenarios, stakeholders will:
- Cultivate professional skills by learning how to work with dynamic, ad-hoc teams facing critical food emergency incidents that threaten the safety of the public;
- Assess readiness (agency, facility, profession, department, authority, etc.) to effectively address a food contamination incident;
- Define roles and interactions with partners;
- Understand the purpose and objectives of federal, state, local and industry organizations and how each provides resources to address different aspects of food contamination scenarios; and/or
- Take appropriate, timely and effective steps to remediate emergency situations that are caused by intentional or unintentional acts.
FREE-B takes a ‘whole-community’ approach to preparedness. The term ‘whole-community’ refers to the need for cross-discipline preparedness training for large-scale incidents through regular exercise and training, evaluation and plan revision.