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Protecting Our Food Supply: Safety Security Defense. Dr. Ray Burden, Associate Director Center for Agriculture & Food Security & Preparedness University of Tennessee. Introduction. Varied, complex, & changing industry Global in scope Why are we concerned?. LSU.

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protecting our food supply safety security defense

Protecting Our Food Supply:Safety Security Defense

Dr. Ray Burden, Associate Director

Center for Agriculture & Food Security & Preparedness

University of Tennessee


Varied, complex, & changing industry

Global in scope

Why are we concerned?


the food processing industry
The Food Processing Industry
  • Prepare raw food products for consumption
  • Processing procedures may be:
  • Simple
    • Washing produce
  • Complex
    • Producing cheese
major determinants of processing procedures
Major Determinants of Processing Procedures
  • Type of food
  • Regulatory requirements
  • Market place/ forces
  • Available technology
farm to fork continuum
Farm to Fork Continuum

Pre-harvest Food

Post-harvest Food



Retail Markets


Farm Production



global food production
Global Food Production
  • Intensive production centersproduce food whichprovides:
    • High-quality
    • Infinite selection
    • Low-priced
valuing agriculture and the food systems
Valuing Agriculture and the Food Systems
  • Five states (CA, IL, IA, NE, and TX) produce one-third of total U.S. food & agricultural products
  • Agriculture of vital importance to economy of most States
food supply chain
Food Supply Chain
  • Food distributed and shipped globally
  • Food travels 1200 or more miles from production to consumption
  • In a day one may easily consume food from over 10 countries
  • Globalization led to increases in:
    • Trade of food products between nations
    • Vulnerabilities of food system
your average american hot dog with chili and onions
Your Average American Hot Dog with Chili and Onions…

White Pepper - Cambodia

Tomato Sauce - CA

Yeast - France

Wheat - KS

Beef - CO

Pork - Canada

Paprika - Thailand

Chili Powder - India

Diced Onions - Mexico

packaging and repacking
Packaging and Repacking

Food products may be moved between facilities where different processing may occur

Example: Citrus Grower →Transport →Citrus concentrate → Transport → Final citrus product processed and packaged for sale → Transport → Distributors → Transport →Retail Sale

imported products and ingredients
Imported Products and Ingredients
  • Approximately 11 million cargo containers enter the United States every year
  • Only a small percentage are inspected (3-5%)
imported products and ingredients1
Imported Products and Ingredients
  • US trades with over 150 countries/ territories with products coming into over 300 ports
  • ~ 15% of US food supply by volume imported
  • Increases to 60% if include fresh fruits and vegetables when US production out of season
  • 75% for seafood products
agricultural and food supply systems
Agricultural and Food Supply Systems

Agriculture and food systems are an “extensive, open, interconnected, diverse, and complex structure…vulnerable to attack”

(HSPD 9)


tommy thompson former secretary of u s department of health and human services 2004
Tommy ThompsonFormer Secretary of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2004)

“For the life of me, I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply, because it is so easy to do.”

why are we concerned
Why are we concerned?
  • Intelligence has shown terrorists have planned to attack agriculture and the food sector
  • Manuals for intentional contamination of food widely available
  • Agriculture and food system “soft targets”
food terrorism
Food Terrorism
  • Food or water can carry pathogens, chemicals, and toxins to people to cause illness or death
  • Any incident would cause significant psychological impact
2003 who report
2003 WHO Report
  • Urged governments to create contingency plans to protect against food terrorism
  • Cited foodborne disease outbreaks to show risk
    • “If an unintentional outbreak from one food, such as clams, can affect 300,000 individuals, a concerted, deliberate attack could be devastating, especially if a more dangerous chemical, biological or radionuclear agent was used.”
use of chemical and biological weapons against the food supply
Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons against the Food Supply
  • 1984- Contamination of salad bar in Oregon with Salmonella. 751 persons ill
  • 2003- Contamination of ground beef with nicotine in Michigan. 111 sick, 45 hospitalized
  • 2002- Snack food contaminated with rat poison in China. 300 sick, 40 child deaths
food threat agents
Food Threat Agents

CDC Category A agents

B. anthracis and Clostridium botulinum toxin

CDC Category B agents

Epsilon toxin of Clostridium perfringens

Salmonella species, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Shigella

Ricin toxin from Ricinus communis (castor beans)

Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B

food vulnerabilities in transport
Food Vulnerabilities in Transport

FSIS food chain assessments highlighted key issues

  • Personnel handling/transporting food
  • Failure to report suspect issues
  • Communication between public and private sector
  • Lack of standard use of seals
  • Food at rest is at risk
import transport issues
Import/ Transport Issues
  • Meat & poultry products smuggled into U.S. by ship, truck, air, automobile, mail, & passenger luggage
  • Transport by sea container extremely vulnerable and major mode of transport of illegal drugs into U.S.
import transport issues1
Import/ Transport Issues
  • Container documentation typically provides only limited details about contents, sender, and ultimate recipient.
  • Goods transported by truck or rail highly vulnerable since difficult to thoroughly inspect.
import transport issues2
Import/ Transport Issues
  • Port employees may participate in an act of intentional adulteration.
  • GAO has estimated that at port facilities, over 80 percent of cargo theft is perpetrated by personnel whose employment gives them direct access to the cargo.
transportation vulnerabilities
Transportation Vulnerabilities
  • Trucking major form of transporting food both in foreign countries and within U.S
  • Many trucks not sealed with tamper-proof or tamper-evident locks or seals
  • Trucks may make multiple stops to pick up and unload products
transportation vulnerabilities1
Transportation Vulnerabilities
  • Recently, in two separate incidents, cocaine found inside packages of ground beef destined for school lunch program.
  • Highlights vulnerability of truck transportation
food terrorism direct effects
Food Terrorism Direct Effects
  • Human illness or death
  • Mental anguish / Generate fear
  • Decreased productivity or death in animals or crops
  • Product recalls and destruction of product
  • Losses associated with clean up efforts
food terrorism indirect effects
Food Terrorism Indirect Effects
  • Loss of consumer confidence
  • Loss of jobs
  • Trade restrictions
  • Market destabilization
  • Undermine confidence in government


2005 – E. coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with pre-packaged lettuce caused drop in sales

why should we be concerned
Why should we be concerned?
  • Numerous possibilities for contamination exist from processing to shipping
  • Can impact the safety of the food supply
  • Contamination at one point in the system can spread globally with a resulting huge impact in terms of human illness and/or death
fda pet food tainting might be intentional

FDA: Pet food tainting might be intentional

Plastics chemical can make feed appear more protein-rich

Updated 8:50 p.m. ET, Fri., April. 20, 2007

melamine case study
Melamine- Case Study

Chemical used in a variety of industrial manufacturing processes

Not approved for addition to human or animal foods in the U.S.

When added to food products, it elevates the protein content of the product

Used as an adulterant for economic benefit in China

melamine case study1
Melamine- Case Study
  • Contamination of US pet food (wheat gluten) in 2007
    • Dogs and cats that consumed adulterated pet food developed kidney failure and many died
  • Contaminated infant formula in China in 2008
    • More than 47,000 infants and young children hospitalized for urinary problems, possible renal tube blockages and kidney stones.
    • Four infant deaths confirmed.
fda advisories possible melamine contamination
Topaz Wafer Rolls with Various Cream Fillings

G&J Hot Cocoa Stuffer Item 120144

G&J Cocoa items

Wonderfarm Variety Assorted Biscuits

Sweet Time Christmas Dressy Bear with Chocolate Bar Fresh and Crispy Jacobina Biscuits

Koala’s March Crème filled Cookies

White Rabbit Candies

Mr. Brown Various Blends Instant Coffee

Mr. Brown Milk Tea (3-in-1)

YILI Brand Milk Drinks

Blue Cat Flavored Drinks

Infant formula manufactured in China

FDA Advisories- Possible melamine contamination

Hydrolyzed leather protein

center for agriculture food security preparedness university of tennessee
Center for Agriculture & Food Security & Preparedness- University of Tennessee
  • Opened October 16, 2006
  • Primary focus to assist the nation to protect its critical infrastructure, including agriculture and food supply
  • ~8 million in funded projects
  • Funded projects: DHS, USDA, FDA, TN Dept of Ag, state Homeland Security
national training programs
National Training Programs
  • Agriculture and Food Vulnerability Assessment
  • Importation and Transportation of Food
  • Credentialing of Animal Emergency Responders

Geared towards frontline officials and responders- Adult Learners

agriculture and food vulnerability assessment training program
Agriculture and Food Vulnerability Assessment Training Program

MGT 332

MGT 337

  • 2 ½ days
  • Case studies on crops, animal facilities and food processing
  • 1 ½ days
  • Subset of MGT 332
  • Focus on food processing
sharing of information intelligence on the importation transportation of food
Sharing of Information & Intelligence on the Importation & Transportation of Food
  • Food transportation consistently ranked as one of the most vulnerable links in our food chain
  • 3 components:
    • Web-based course
    • Instructor-led course- 1 day
    • Video for Transportation Industry
  • ILT available January 2011
food safety modernization act
Food Safety Modernization Act
  • Integrated Food Safety System (IFSS)
  • FDA and USDA’s FSIS
  • Multiple focus points
    • transportation and importation
    • Increase training for food inspectors at all levels
    • Food defense
  • Emphasis on training food inspectors at all levels
  • Food Safety during disasters
cafsp and fsma
  • Partner with NMSU and U of HI
  • Focus on importation and ethnic foods
  • Central and South America
  • Pacific Rim
  • Cultural competency for inspectors
  • Training for food inspectors during disasters
  • Concerns over the potential for intentional contamination of food are valid
  • Food Protection

Safety Security Defense