What is Food Defense?
Food defense is the process of protecting food products from intentional adulteration or contamination which aims to harm consumers, business establishments, or the general public. Food defense is crucial in proactively implementing programs that help avoid food safety incidents, costly recalls, and disruptions in food production.
What is a Food Defense Plan?
A food defense plan is a tool used by quality managers to help prevent the intentional contamination of food products. It is also a practical guide for mitigating incidents caused by intentional food contamination.
This article will briefly discuss (1) what makes an effective food defense plan; (2) technology to help ensure the proper monitoring of the food defense plan implementation; and (3) free food defense plan templates you can use to address threats to food defense.
Click here to browse and download the Best Food Defense Plan Templates
What Makes an Effective Food Defense Plan
Adapted from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), a food defense plan can be effective in preventing food contamination through the following steps:
Form a team that will create a food defense plan based on assessments of vulnerable critical control points in food production and handling (related: TACCP). There are also tools available (FDA’s food defense plan builder) that can help build a customized food defense plan.
It is critical to engage the employees and get their buy-in when implementing a food defense plan. Conduct employee trainings and meet with stakeholders to implement processes that proactively promotes the safety of food products.
3. Internal monitoring and analyzation
Perform internal audits to catch gaps or non-conformance with the implementation of a food defense plan. Analyze food safety inspections to determine the most common non-conforming items and discover areas for improvement in food defense.
4. Continuous improvement
Review the food defense plan at least once a year. Based on audit reports, industry best practices, and the latest regulations on food safety, determine if the food defense plan needs to be updated or improve how it is implemented to keep up with new and changing threats to food defense.
Technology to Monitor Food Defense
With the goal of food defense to keep food products safe from threats of intentional contamination, it is important to ensure that its implementation is consistently monitored and documented. iAuditor, the world’s most powerful quality and safety inspection app, can help quality managers reinforce the proper implementation of food defense through streamlined and paperless monitoring and reporting. With iAuditor mobile app and software, you can:
Here is a collection of our carefully prepared food defense plan templates you can browse and use when monitoring the implementation of food defense.
The Best Digital Food Defense Plan Templates
A food defense plan template is a tool used to proactively determine if the organization has an effective defense against the intentional contamination of food products. Derived from the FSIS, this digitized food defense plan template covers 4 sections—(1) Outside Security Measures, (2) Inside Security Measures, (3) Personnel Security Measures, and (4) Incident Response Security Measures. With the iAuditor mobile app and software, you can:
- Proactively discover if there’s a gap in security measures against threats of contamination.
- Take photos and describe issues found. Assign corrective actions using mobile devices.
- Automatically organize and retrieve reports saved in secure cloud storage.
- Customize iAuditor templates to fit the needs of your business. No programing skills needed!
This food defense checklist was digitized based on the USDA’s checklist for warehouses and distribution centers. This checklist uses yes-no-n/a response set to confirm if the following areas are covered: outside security, general inside security, shipping and receiving, mail handling, and personnel.
Use this food defense checklist for establishments that serve food products to customers. Evaluate the food defense established for the facility, employees, supplies, food preparation, and cleaning.
This bonus template can be used to assess risks at each critical control point of food production. Determine if a hazard is biological, chemical, physical, or radiological and identify the risk rating.
Best Food Safety and Quality Checklists