October 5, 2015
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released two new food-related emergency exercises to help public health and other officials understand and coordinate their roles and responsibilities, and prepare for a food-related emergency.
The new exercises, titled “Wat’er You Thinking” and “Foul Fodder,” involve the possible contamination of a local water supply and apparent tampering with animal feed, respectively. These are the latest modules to be added to the FDA’s Food Related Emergency Exercise Bundle (FREE-B).
The FDA developed the FREE-B scenarios in cooperation with various federal and state partners. These table-top exercises feature acts of unintentional, or accidental, as well as intentional food contamination events. They are designed to aid government regulatory and public health agencies in evaluating existing food emergency response plans, protocols, and procedures, or to help in the development of new or revised efforts.
The FDA recognizes the importance of pre-event coordination, collaboration, and communication in protecting the public during a large scale food emergency. Accordingly, the FDA encourages government agencies using the FREE-B modules to work with neighboring jurisdictions, private sector partners, academia and federal partners to plan exercises to further examine and assess collaboration on existing food emergency response plans.
Various emergency response personnel can benefit from the exercises, including government regulatory and public health officials, first responders, emergency managers, and law enforcement, as well as their counterparts in the private sector.
For more information, visit FDA Food Defense at http://www.FDA.gov/FoodDefense.