NASDA, in cooperation with USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has announced the availability of a model Food Emergency Response Plan Template. The template addresses the goal of enhancing the protection of the United States' agricultural industry and food security through increased prevention, detection, response, and recovery planning.
The template will provide states with a guide for developing a food emergency response plan. It is designed to assist the states with development of either a stand-alone plan for responding to a food-related emergency or an addendum to an existing all-hazard state emergency response plan. Because a food emergency could occur at any point from farm to fork, including pre-harvest production, processing, and distribution, the application of this template allows for management of emergencies with varying degrees and scope. 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 template is also a "building block" in the national effort to develop a seamless system of food defense from local, state and federal perspectives. It identifies how these efforts will be effectively integrated with the National Response Plan (NRP) descriptions for responding to, mitigating, and recovering from a domestic incident. In addition, the template provides a baseline structure for preparing state-level plans to protect critical infrastructure and key resources identified through the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP).
The model Food Emergency Response Plan Template is available to be downloaded. The document was developed through a federal-state cooperative agreement and in consultation with a consortium of stakeholders. Federal representatives included USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). State representatives included the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), and the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO).