Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced the availability of a new computer program to help those who use farm equipment assess risk factors for the food they produce.
The tool is available on the internet through the FDA's website and is designed to help producers identify weak areas in the supply chains for different foods. The program - known as Agriculture CARVER + Shock - was originally developed by the military in order to shed light on areas that may be more open to attack.
Dr. Stephen Sundlof, who is the director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, noted the program helps producers consider how an attacker may think.
"Producers can easily identify weak spots in their operation and receive practical advice on countermeasures they can put in place," Sundlof said.
The defense of food has become increasingly important, especially in the face of potential terrorist threats. The University of Missouri Extension recently noted that the effect of contaminated food covers a number of areas, including reducing consumer confidence or creating political unrest, along with the threat it injuring or killing consumers.