FBI Food Defense Best Practices

19/10/2021 15:00 - 15:30

Intelligence indicates that terrorists have discussed vulnerabilities in various components of the food system. All segments of the food “farm-to-fork” continuum are potentially at risk. While there is currently no known or articulated threat to U.S. food or agriculture, this critical infrastructure remains vulnerable to attack. Food companies and food service providers are very familiar with the concepts of Food Safety, in contrast, Food Defense protects the food supply from intentional contamination. The concepts of Food Safety and Food Defense do not conflict and, in combination, make the food system more secure. As a non-regulatory entity, the FBI has both law enforcement and Intelligence responsibilities. Within the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate (WMDD), countermeasures are developed to prevent and mitigate threats associated with the nefarious use of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive material. These countermeasures are also implemented for the food sector through outreach efforts with food industry, public health, and law enforcement stakeholders. The FBI’s Commercial Facilities Food Defense Initiative (CFFDI) was developed in partnership with the United States Food and Drug Administration, United States Department of Agriculture, and Department of Homeland Security. Identified as a best practice for Food Defense, the CFFDI promotes incident response planning and enhances awareness for roles, responsibilities, authorities, and resources during an incident of intentional food contamination. This presentation will also share additional Food Defense best practices for consideration by food industry partners.

Helen S. Lawrence, PhD, Management and Program Analyst, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Directorate, Washington, D.C., Federal Bureau of Investigation