Part two of Food Safety Tech’s interview with Alan Baumfalk, lead auditor and technical manager for Eurofins food safety systems, discusses how companies can reduce their chances of having a food crisis. “Sometimes we forget that part of our crisis management team is part of food defense,” says Baumfalk.
Food Safety Tech: Can you discuss the importance of the food defense plan within crisis management?
Alan Baumfalk: We need to defend the product within our facility, and we need to determine as part of the food defense plan the methods that we’re going to implement to prevent adulteration of product.
We need to step up and watch this: The process literally travels from farm to fork; from the crop through processing through distribution and to the final consumer. As part of our food defense plan we need to protect sensitive processing points from intentional adulteration, and we must watch for potential accidental adulteration.
It is important to carefully control the activities in the plant. Part of that involves limiting employee, subcontractor and visitor access to production equipment, manufacturing, and storage areas by designating access points.
These steps can help to eliminate issues involved in causing a crisis:
- Secure the storage of raw materials, packaging equipment and hazardous chemicals
- Control all chemicals within the facility, because they can be used to deliberately or accidentally contaminate food.
- Hold finished products in secure storage.
- Control transportation. Apply seals to the full truckload.
- Monitor all points of distribution.