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NMPF Tests New Food Defense Plan Software

September 7, 2016

Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its final rule on Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration in May 2016, the agency has been updating its tools and educational materials to align with the law’s relevant provisions. Late in August, NMPF and its members were asked to help facilitate an inaugural beta testing session on one such tool, the Food Defense Plan Builder software.

The Food Defense Plan Builder is a software program designed to assist owners and operators of food facilities with developing personalized food defense plans for their operations. This user-friendly tool harnesses existing FDA tools, guidance and resources for food defense into one single application. The latest version includes features that will help companies comply with the final rule when it goes into effect in 2019. 

The software was well received with little major revision needed. FDA has said it would make the final version of the software available no later than one year in advance of the compliance date.  Version 1.0 of the software is currently available for download. Food defense plans developed with that version will function with the revised version when it is released.

During the beta testing session, FDA announced it would initiate a “quick-check” program in 2019 as part of a regular food safety inspection process to verify that the regulated community is complying with the rule’s requirements. NMPF is confident that those using the software will comply, and urges its members to avail themselves of the software. NMPF staff have significant experience with food defense issues and will take steps to facilitate members’ compliance with the rule.  For questions about the rule or the software, please contact Clay Detlefsen.