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Food Defense

Food Defense is the means of preventing or eliminating the deliberate contamination of food by bacterial agents,kitchen toxins, chemicals, radiation, or a physical object. Prevention is the most important aspect of food defense.

A lack of food defense planning may have devastating repercussions for a company. Food contamination can result in widespread illnesses or even death of the consumer(s), law proceedings, and distrust in the product, company, and even the industry.

There currently are no regulations in place that address food defense, the National Infrastructure Protection Center, which serves as the Federal government’s focal point for threat assessment, warning, investigation, and response for threats or attacks against the United States' critical infrastructures has identified the food system as one of 18 critical infrastructure sectors. Under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, the scope of the President’s Council on Food Safety is expanded to include other relevant agencies and organizations to create a food safety and defense strategy addressing technologies, threat assessments, risk communication, and procedures for securing food processing, manufacturing facilities, and modes of transportation.

The Indiana Food Safety and Defense Task Force is made up of 123 members of key stakeholders in the Indiana food and agriculture infrastructure comprising local, state, and federal government agencies, academia, industry, law enforcement, and consumer advocates.

The food and agriculture sectors are one possible target for terrorism. The Indiana Department of Health Food Protection Division works to mitigate this threat through vulnerability assessments and exercises with the Food Safety and Defense Taskforce. The Indiana Food Safety and Defense Task Force meets twice a year to support public health through prevention, early detection, and response to foodborne illnesses.

The Task Force serves many functions and goals such as, but not limited to:

  • Provides a forum for open dialogue between industry, regulators, academia, law enforcement, healthcare, and other stakeholders in food safety and defense.
  • Provides valuable technical expertise to work on special projects.
  • Provides stakeholder input on proposed or future rules, regulations, and statutes.
  • Allows stakeholders to provide insight when regulators are developing formal guidance policies.
  • Promotes an educational environment for the stakeholders.
  • Promotes the integration of efficient statewide food safety and defense system that maximizes the protection of public health through the prevention, early detection, and containment of foodborne illness.
  • Focuses on food defense, awareness, prevention, intervention, and response

To learn more about the Indiana Food Safety and Defense Taskforce, please call: 317-234-8569

If you see something, say something.

If you see suspicious activity, please report it to your LOCAL police department.  If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911.

Indiana Department of Health

  • Food Defense Program: 317-233-3213
  • 24-hour on-call duty officer: 317-233-1325

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

  • 24-hour Emergency number: 301-443-1240
  • Evansville office: 812-465-6414
  • Indianapolis office: 317-226-6500

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)

  • Office of Food Security & Emergency Preparedness: 800-333-1284
  • Technical Service Center: 800-233-3935
  • Program Investigations: 317-290-3350

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • Information Hotline: 800-311-3435

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

  • Information Hotline: 888-585-9078

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

  • Indianapolis District Office: 317-639-3301

food defense

Indiana
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Academia & Research Centers
Additional Food & Agriculture Websites

Contact us

We are willing to answer any questions or concerns and discuss food defense. We have extensive contacts with Indiana and the United States Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other local partners who are aware and vigilant of food defense issues and concerns.

Laurie Kidwell
Food Defense Program Coordinator
Office: 317-233-3213
Cell:  317-296-1573
lkidwell@isdh.in.gov