FSIS Food Defense Risk Mitigation Tool
Contains nonbinding recommendations
This online tool is part of an ongoing effort by FSIS to help protect the nation's supply of meat, poultry, and egg products from intentional contamination. During vulnerability assessments conducted jointly with FSIS, industry representatives suggested that a searchable, user-friendly tool was needed to facilitate identification and selection of applicable mitigation strategies (i.e., countermeasures).
This tool identifies some possible countermeasures that companies could implement, as part of a food defense plan, to better protect their business, employees, and customers. Some of the countermeasures are specific to particular assets or activities (nodes); others apply more generally to the facility as a whole. Written guidance regarding mitigation strategies is also available in Food Defense Guidelines for Slaughter and Processing Establishments, which can be obtained by calling the Small Plant Help Desk at 1-877-FSIS HELP (374-7435) and is also available on the web at security guide.
The countermeasures listed in this tool are neither mandatory nor exhaustive. Not all of the identified strategies will be applicable, practical, or effective for all types and sizes of slaughter and processing establishments. Additional strategies not included here may also be useful. The user should implement countermeasures appropriate to the specific circumstances of their establishment and operations.
- Keep combo bins covered, or seal plastic liners (e.g., with zip ties).
- At the receiving dock, check incoming shipments of raw products for evidence of tampering.
- Develop and implement procedures for segregating, inspecting, retaining, and, if necessary, rejecting combo bins of product if signs of tampering are observed.
- Designate and clearly mark areas where combo bins are stored and used as restricted (i.e., authorized employees only).
- Limit access to combo bins to authorized employees only. Restrict visitors, guests, and other non-employees (e.g., contractors, sales people, and truck drivers) to non-product areas unless accompanied by an authorized employee.
- Monitor combo bin locations to confirm that only authorized personnel are present.
- Establish an inventory system for combo bins and conduct periodic, random checks to verify inventory records.
- When selecting suppliers and transportation companies, consider the company's security measures in place to protect the raw product during transport.
- Utilize peer monitoring for those handling combo bins.
- Consider the use of surveillance cameras to monitor areas where combo bins are accessed and stored.
Not all recommendations are applicable to all facilities.