High Quality Safety seals are closely related to people's daily food
As food manufacturers- and processors move through their individual food chain vulnerability studies, the consensus appears to be that focusing on, and investing in, the mitigation of all risk that is “within arm’s reach”, is warranted and justifiable. Such warranted investments are typically associated with perimeter defense, access control, video surveillance and employee screening.
These investments are all important and necessary as part of what is, ideally, a multi-layered approach to Food Defense, but the food chain is much wider than the perimeter of one single manufacturing location. There are other areas of the food chain that are significantly more vulnerable to intentional contamination, as concluded by the FDA:
In addition to the fact that these are activities deemed most vulnerable to intentional contamination, these are also, for the most part, activities that define the “chain of custody and liability” in the food chain, i.e. as one liquid is pumped from a bulk truck into a pre-manufacturing bulk storage unit at the food plant, the ownership and responsibility of the product changes.
The above four activities are considered the most vulnerable, but generally speaking, whenever a food product is being transported, it is also vulnerable to intentional contamination.
Therefore, it is imperative that the “chain of custody” of the food chain is protected by high quality security seals that provide real security value, by offering a high degree of “tamper resistance” and tamper indication features.
The “last point of defense” in a food company’s chain of custody - is a mechanical security seal…typically acquired for much less than $ 1.00 each.
Security seals are used to secure dome lids and discharge valves on tank trailers, trailer doors on truck trailers and rail cars, and of course ocean container doors. Good security seals provide clear signs of tampering, will resist a wide variety of tamper attempts, and are of consistent quality.
In addition to choosing the appropriate security seal solution for your supply chain, it is important to realize that security seals are not effective unless they are part of an established seal protocol;
Paraphrasing from “FSIS Safety and Security Guidelines for the Transportation and Distribution of Meat, Poultry, and Egg products”:
Any risk mitigation strategy has to include a well-defined supply chain security program, and a SC-security program has to include established best practices on how to:
----> Train specific employees, “gate keepers”, in the purchase, storage, release, application and inspection of security seals and other tamper evident devices. This includes, but is not limited to, a list of actionable steps to follow, in cases where a “tamper incident” is discovered.
----> Let the appropriate and skilled employees of the firm determine what features and capabilities a security seal must offer to your supply chain operations, and realize that not all security seals are created equal.
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