All food manufacturers know that having a strong Food Defense Program is vital to producing safe food. But with so much focus on aspects of the plan like mitigation strategies and corrective actions, there is one key to a robust food defense plan you may be overlooking. By conducting a Intentional Adulteration Assessment, manufacturers can better identify potential or actual weaknesses within the manufacturing process, improving the rest of the food defense plan.

1. Choose what to focus on first.

When conducting the assessments, there are many different variables present within food manufacturing, so each manufacturer must decide for themselves what they choose to focus on. This could include everything from chemical and hazardous materials storage to the security that keeps your facility safe.

2. Run through example scenarios with your team.

When considering what to focus on in conducting assessments, developing and implementing potential vulnerability scenarios can also be helpful in identifying potential and actual vulnerabilities. For instance, if you believe hazardous materials are secured and accounted for in your facility, develop and run a scenario in which an unauthorized person attempts to access them.

3. Collect feedback from your team.

Involved personnel can play their roles in the scenario, while simultaneously providing valuable feedback to other members of the team. Once the assessment is complete, all members involved can utilize the information gathered during the scenario to either maintain their current program or make improvements when necessary. Using such a scenario-based approach also has the benefit of providing “real time” feedback to assist with identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your Food Defense Plan.

Our Intentional Adulteration Assessment can identify potential gaps in your current food defense plan focusing on current best practices and potential requirements linked to your facility, programs, and operational procedures.

Regardless of the approach used while conducting the assessments or the scenarios you run to identify potential weaknesses, to help ensure the continued production of safe food, it’s critical that vulnerability assessments not be overlooked.

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