New tools will fight bioterrorism in food supply chain

A new set of tools designed by the Food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture aims to aid food-animal producers in mitigating risk of bioterrorism on the food production process.

The new, online tool, dubbed CARVER + Shock, was adapted from an older system created by the military that evaluated potential vulnerabilities in the supply chains of different food and food processes.

“This assessment tool helps the producer understand how someone intending to disrupt agriculture might think,” Stephen F. Sundlof, D.V.M., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said in a statement. “Producers can easily identify weak spots in their operation and receive practical advice on countermeasures they can put in place.”

The system was created as concern has risen in recent years that terrorist could intentionally target the U.S. food supply by introducing biological, chemical or radiological agents.

The risk assessment CARVER + Shock tool will help food processors to protect their products from deliberate contamination.

The system that CARVER + Shock is based upon has rpeviously been used to evaluate potential vulnerabilities in the supply chains of different foods and food processes.

CARVER is an acronym based on the six attributes used to evaluate targets for an attack - criticality, accessibility, recuperability, vulnerability, effect and reconigzability.