The Intentional Adulteration (IA) Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires every employee of facilities that fall under it to receive food defense training. Additionally, a Food Defense Qualified Individual (FDQI) must also be appointed to oversee certain activities, such as the creation and implementation of a Food Defense Plan. If your facility has yet to pursue food defense training, be sure to explore the following free resources for food defense training soon.
- Food Defense Awareness Training: This free online course offered by the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) satisfies section 121.4 (b)(2) of the IA Rule. It is a brief, 20-minute course which can be taken by anyone.
- Overview of the IA Rule: A second free online training course is the Overview of the IA Rule. Like the previous course, this is also available through the FSPCA and explores IA Rule basics.
- Key Activity Types (KAT) Training: Also available through the FSPCA, the free version of this training allows users to view slides without any interaction. To receive the certificate for this course, users must pay a fee, but the slides alone can provide useful background information on conducting a vulnerability assessment using KATs. Identifying KATs is an essential aspect of building a comprehensive Food Defense Plan for each facility.
- Identification and Explanation of Mitigation Strategies: Like the KAT training, this course offers both fee-based and free enrollment options. Again, slides are available for free to help participants understand the mitigation strategies that can be used to prevent inside attackers from compromising food sources. In order to receive a certificate, however, a fee must be paid and the interactive components of the course must be satisfied.
In addition to these training options, food manufacturing professionals can also use the FDA’s Food Defense Plan Builder to begin familiarizing themselves with basic food defense requirements now. Keep in mind that while version 1.0 is not yet aligned with the IA Rule, v2.0 will reflect IA Rule and is expected to be released in the late summer or early fall of 2019.
If your facility is just beginning to think about food defense training, don’t wait any longer to get started. While FDA enforcement is unlikely to begin before March of 2020, the largest companies that fall under the IA Rule are required to have their Food Defense Plan in place by July 26, 2019. No matter which route you choose to go, some type of training is necessary for all employees, and especially the FDQI who will be responsible for preparing a site-specific Food Defense Plan.