The Food and Drug Administration in cooperation with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the availability of a model Food Emergency Response Plan Template. The goal of the response plan is to enhance the protection of the nation's agricultural industry and food security through prevention, detection, response, and recovery.
The template provides states with a guide to develop either a stand-alone emergency response plan for responding to a food-related emergency or an addendum to an existing all-hazard state emergency response plan. Useful planning tools include documents previously developed in cooperation with the DHS - national planning scenarios, target capabilities, and uniform task lists.
Because a food emergency could occur at any point from farm to fork, including pre-harvest production, processing, and distribution, states can use the template to develop useful plans to manage a food emergency. In addition, states can establish a uniform structure and content that will result in response plans that are similar in structure, scope, and response operations among all states.
A food-related emergency involves the unintentional or deliberate contamination, threatened or actual, of food that impacts or may impact human health. A food emergency response plan does not apply to food incidents routinely handled by local or state health departments.
The Food Emergency Response Plan Template is available on the NASDA web site.