FDA Launches Food Defense Awareness Training Kit

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has launched its food defense awareness training kit for first line food industry employees. FDA said the training targets these individuals because they can play an important role in helping to keep the nation's food supply safe, from the farm to the table.

Food industry management will use the FIRST tool kit as part of ongoing employee food defense training programs. The tool kit focuses on five key points that industry and businesses can use to educate first line workers about the risks of food contamination. It also provides industry with measures to consider and implement to reduce these risks.

Each of the letters in the FIRST acronym describes an action that a first line employee can take to mitigate risks of contamination:

F - FOLLOW company food defense plan and procedures.

I - INSPECT your work area and surrounding areas.

R - RECOGNIZE anything out of the ordinary.

S - SECURE all ingredients, supplies, and finished product.

T - TELL management if you notice anything unusual or suspicious.

Single copies of the kit are available in English and Spanish. The kit is free to employees and includes one DVD, a training poster, and on-screen instructions. Copies can be obtained by ordering online from the Food Defense & Terrorism Web site: www.cfsan.fda.gov/fooddefense. A Web-ready version of the kit will be available later this month.

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