One food defense model just got an upgrade, and our whole safety plan gets the benefit.
In late September, the Food and Drug Administration released an updated version of its Food Defense Plan Builder, a user-friendly computer program designed to help food facility operators develop a personalized food defense plan.
Here at Adams Cold Storage, we adopted the original FDA model years ago and now that this new release has been expanded in-depth, detail, and record-keeping, it will continue to be a valuable tool for us in executing our comprehensive food safety plan. The Food Defense Plan Builder helps us not only avoid hazards but also helps us maintain the food safety and quality that our customers can depend on.
While a Food Defense Plan to prevent intentional adulteration or malicious contamination is now mandatory under the Food Safety Management Act, adoption of the FDA model is not mandatory. We have chosen to continue to follow and expand upon the decades and depth of experience at the FDA.
Food defense, at its heart, is about preventing intentional acts in order to avoid a myriad of potentially deadly consequences. From the value of matching numbers on a simple seal (which we wrote about last month) to physical, biological and chemical risk assessments, expanded preventive controls have become a way of life for all good operators.
Here at ACS, our Food Defense Plan has been audited for the past three years by a USDA investigator. These audits are unannounced and involve physical inspections, records review, and a test of a company’s recall plan. These inspections have resulted in zero non-conformances or recommendations.
And we work hard to keep it that way. We have an active Food Safety Committee, a Food Defense Team, Major Incident, and Recovery Committees and numerous other committees that involve all levels of our team — from hourly associates to supervisors and managers.
Next month, we’ll take a deeper dive into some of the many preventive controls we have established and validated at ACS.
This column is sponsored by Adams Cold Storage, LLC, and the opinions expressed herein may not reflect those of CFAN or of its advertisers.
BIO: Ben Adams, Jr. is an owner and president of Adams Cold Storage, LLC, in Auburndale. He has been directly involved in citrus production, warehousing, and distribution, as well as state and community support, since 1980. His facility incorporates some 250,000 square feet of multitemperature warehousing and is AA rated by BRCGS.