F.D.A. introduces new food defense software

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has introduced a new software program, called the Carver + Shock Software Tool, to help the food industry asses how vulnerable food facilities are to biological, chemical or radiological attacks.

"F.D.A.’s goal in developing the Carver + Shock software is to maximize protection of the American food supply," said David Acheson, assistant commissioner for food protection. "The relative risk-ranking methodology used by the Carver + Shock software tool has been designed to assist facility operators in identifying potential vulnerabilities and assist in providing preventive measures to increase the defense of products and operations."

The basis of the program’s name is an acronym standing for criticality, accessibility, recuperability, vulnerability, effect and recognizability. The program was developed by the F.D.A.’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition along with Sandia National Laboratories, the Institute of Food Technologists, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, state representatives and private industry representatives.

The program also may evaluate psychological impacts of an attack, taking into consideration that this impact is greater when there is a large number of deaths or if a target has historical or cultural significance.

The Carver + Shock program is a part of food safety and defense efforts the F.D.A. has developed since September 2001. Others efforts include the strategic partnership program agroterrorism initiative and the ALERT initiative.

The software tool can be evaluated and downloaded by visiting www.cfsan.fda.gov.

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