USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service will be surveying FSIS-regulated slaughter and processing plants to determine how many have adopted food-defense programs. The survey will begin on Aug. 1.

Currently, such food-defense plans are a voluntary step for packers and processors. The point behind it is to establish protocols for the plant that would reduce the chances of intentionally contaminating the food supply in order to kill or hurt people, disrupt the economy or ruin a business.

For guidance materials, including a food defense self-assessment checklist for
slaughter and processing plant security, click here.