International Food Defense
In addition to ensuring that domestic and imported products are safe from intentional adulteration, FSIS also supports international outreach efforts on food defense. These efforts help to institutionalize food defense measures and encourage the global recognition of food defense to prevent incidents that could have severe and negative social, economic, and public health implications. The globalization of the food supply makes international outreach for food defense a priority for FSIS.
Our domestic and local food supplies are part of a global network.
Our food system is global. An incident of intentional adulteration or contamination could have a significant impact on the economy, public health, security, and consumer confidence of the producing country, as well as the country’s trading partners.
Building Global Capacity to Protect the Food Supply
As increased amounts of products are imported into the U.S. for consumption, and the U.S. becomes increasingly reliant on a global food supply, the responsibility to protect food sources must move closer to the originating source. FSIS partners with the international community to leverage resources, exchange information, and reduce duplicative efforts on food defense-related activities. We partner both with countries that already institutionalize food defense measures and those that may require assistance developing capacity. This outreach is conducted in collaboration with experts from other government agencies, U.S. industry, and academia.
FSIS and its partners have gained significant experience designing programs for food defense through a series of international workshops led by subject matter experts from U.S. government, academia, and the private sector. Workshops are designed to incorporate train-the-trainer sessions, educational presentations, and collaborative group exercises to support each country’s capacity to implement food defense measures, as well as provide a platform for dialogue on actionable food defense items. FSIS’ joint international outreach efforts helped initiate strategic dialogue and partnerships among international government ministries, private industry, and academia to collectively work together in addressing global food defense challenges.
Recognized successes of these efforts include:
- Significant increases in the number of international facilities implementing food defense.
- Incorporation of food defense into academic curricula at universities worldwide at the undergraduate, post-graduate, and continuing education levels.
- Development of country-specific food defense training materials by counterpart institutions.
- Development of facilitators who are now considered experts in leading food defense efforts in their country/region.
- Establishment of inter-agency committees for the development of food defense programs.
Food defense impacts around the world.
*Shaded areas indicate countries where FSIS has conducted international outreach efforts on-site/in-country, or that have participated in regional FSIS workshops as of February 8, 2016.