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specifically to cause negative public health, psychological, and/or economic consequences. A food defense
plan is a proactive, strategic approach to protect the
entire food supply chain from an intentional deliberate
chemical, microbiological, radiological or physical contamination to reduce the risk for consumers. As such, it
overlaps with the company’s food quality and safety
goals. The critical components of food defense are
both the protection of food facilities and the ability to rapidly respond to crisis.
Charles Yoe, Ph.D., is a Professor of Economics at the
College of Notre Dame of Maryland and an adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the
University of Maryland. Food safety risk analysis, food
defense, and risks of engineering systems are his current
areas of primary research, and he has developed courses in
risk assessment and risk management for several agencies
of the U.S. federal government and private industry.
Mickey Parish, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair of the
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, and the Acting
Director of the Center for Food Systems Security and Safety
at the University of Maryland, College Park. Parish focuses
research efforts on food microbiology related to safety, quality and defense policy. Reach him at email@example.com.
David K. Y. Lei, Ph.D., is a Professor at the Department
of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Maryland
at College Park. He is the principal investigator of an ongoing food defense grant from USDA. His current research is
focused on the influence of zinc status as well as food and
medicinal plant materials with bioactivities on cell cycle
Doug Eddy, has worked in the Australian dairy industry
for nearly 30 years, the majority in research and development areas. He is currently General Manager, Knowledge
Management with Dairy Food Safety Victoria, the state-based dairy regulation authority that is responsible for
assuring the safety of Victorian dairy food to the consumer.
Bradley Paleg, Distance Learning Specialist in the Office
of Information and Education Technology’s Distance
Learning Unit, University of Maryland, brings more than 22
years of experience in the application of teaching, learning
and collaborative technologies. He is the co-principal investigator of an ongoing food defense grant from USDA.
Jurgen G. Schwarz, Ph.D., is the Director of the Food
Science and Technology Ph.D. Program at the University of
Maryland Eastern Shore. His research and teaching activities focus on food processing, food safety and food
defense. Dr. Schwarz worked on product and process
development for one of the major food companies and
worked as a consultant for organic processing.
Editor’s note: References for this article can be
found online at www.foodsafetymagazine.com
under “Current Issue: April/May 2008.”
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closely examine all areas covered by the blueprints and may need to
conduct an onsite review of installed foodservice equipment. This usually focuses on backflow prevention, food spaces, foodservice equipment installation, routing of nonpotable piping, drain piping and ventilation.
FDA issues a Certificate of Sanitary Construction to the owners of
the vessel after all significant construction deficiencies have been verified as corrected and water sampling shows that the potable water
meets the EPA National Primary Drinking Water Quality Standards
( 40 CFR 141). After the vessel enters service, FDA conducts operational sanitation inspections. For these inspections FDA uses the
guidelines set forth in the Food Code for all food spaces. 5 The inspection also covers maintenance of potable and nonpotable water systems, plumbing, ventilation, waste handling and vermin control. If the
vessel passes the inspection, it is issued a Certificate of Sanitation.
In the event that violative sanitation or construction conditions are
observed on the vessel, FDA has several regulatory options at its disposal. These options include issuing warning letters; seeking a temporary restraining order or permanent injunction; and collaborating with
the U.S. Coast Guard to obtain a “no sail” order that prevents the vessel from leaving port with passengers.
FDA investigators who perform vessel construction and operational inspections are trained in the FDA Food Code and food service
plan review. They are experienced in applying the information found
in the Public Health Service/FDA Handbook on Sanitation of Vessel
Construction and the Public Health Service/FDA Handbook on
Sanitation of Vessels in Operation. 6 Familiarity with the CDC Vessel
Sanitation Program’s cruise vessel construction guidelines and vessel
operations handbook is recommended.
In addition to inspecting the vessels, FDA investigators perform
inspections of vessel watering points. A vessel watering point is a facility located on a wharf or pier that loads potable water on vessels. 7 Only
water from FDA approved watering points may be bunkered on vessels without additional onboard treatment in accordance with 21 CFR
The nature of the outbreaks, diseases, and conditions aboard passenger vessels that prompted the first vessel sanitation programs are
somewhat different from those occurring today. Consequently, additional protective measures are needed to control current and emerging
public health threats that could potentially affect the 900 million passengers who travel our nation’s waters for leisure and work each year.
Foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella and Campylobacter, as well
as airborne pathogens causing Legionnaire’s disease, SARS and potentially avian flu, present challenges to the passenger transportation and
hospitality industry. However, the most prevalent scourge to passengers
and crew is the norovirus infection which causes acute gastroenteritis.
Norovirus is transmitted through food and water, by person-to-person
contact, and by environmental contamination. Investigations suggest
that efforts to control gastroenteritis outbreaks on cruise ships should
address all possible modes of norovirus transmission, including foodborne, environmental presence and persistence, and person to person
spread. Successful mitigation measures include good food and water