Food defense is the protection of food products from intentional contamination or adulteration by biological, chemical, physical, or radiological contaminates for the purpose of causing harm or injury. Food defense planning proactively addresses concerns including physical, personnel and operational security. 
Operators of retail food establishments should think about preventative measure to control the risk of deliberate contamination from a disgruntled employee, competitor, a malicious customer, or anyone else looking to cause harm by breaching the integrity of your ingredients or operations. 
Did you know the first act of bioterrorism in the United States was executed by a group of individuals that contaminated the salad bars of ten restaurants in  The Dales in North Oregon? Check out this video to learn about the account of the Rajneeshee Cult from 1984. 
The FDA provides a free tool to help operators analyze and identify the points of vulnerability in their operation and formulate a food defense plan. This tool is free of charge and includes a certification upon completion of the four food defense training modules. 

Build your food defense 

The Food Defense Plan Builder guides the user through the following sections:

  • Company Information
  • Broad Mitigation Strategies
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • Focused Mitigation Strategies
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Action Plan
  • Supporting Documents


Food Defense 101 provides training in preparedness against an intentional attack against our food supply. The courses provide an understanding of and guidance for developing a Food Defense Plan(s) based on a common sense approach.

The FDA provides training for the industry FREE OF CHARGE. Food Defense 101 is comprised of four courses:

  • Food Defense Awareness for the Food Professional;
  • Food Defense Awareness for the Front-line Employee;
  • Food Defense Regulations; and,
  • ALERT, for owners and operators of food facilities

They are designed to stimulate discussion of food defense within the industry. Get started today and become a part of the team to protect our nation’s food supply