You have a food safety plan in place, you’ve verified your foreign suppliers, and your delivery vehicles meet the requirements for sanitary transportation. Concerning FSMA, you’re feeling like everything’s “so far, so good.”
But you aren’t quite done yet. The Final Rule for Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration is coming into play and it requires food processors to think about their risks and controls in a new way.
To keep your food products and facility safe, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developed a database of mitigation strategies. Here are five systems you can put in place at your facility that will help you implement these strategies.
Physical security systems
Your facility is busy every day with employees, delivery drivers, and maintenance workers going in and out. A physical security system helps you control access to your facility and your actionable process steps.
Visitor management system
A visitor management system is software that automates your facility’s check-in/check-out procedure, visitor policy, and deliveries. A visitor management system helps you comply with the new rule by recording when people enter and exit your plant, among other benefits.
Emergency response plan
If an emergency happens, will your team know what to do? An emergency response plan formalizes what you should do in the very first — and most critical — moments, as well as later, to ensure everyone is safe.
Digital security is just as important as your physical security for keeping the food supply safe. Often, these two things go hand in hand. For example, if you have to take the unfortunate step of firing someone, you’ll want to make sure that employee no longer has access to your systems.
Employee training program
Your employees are the first line of defense against food adulteration. But they can only help you keep your facility safe if they know what to look for and how to handle any suspicious people or activities.
These are just a few of the strategies you can use to protect the food you make against intentional adulteration. Other approaches include revamping your parking system, implementing an inventory management system, and performing random security checks of your personnel, equipment, and processes.
The FDA is currently working on guidance documents to further assist food processors as they work to comply with the rule. So, be sure to visit the website regularly to stay up to date on the regulations and requirements.
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Additional resources from the FDA: