USDA conducts food safety drills around country

Published 20 January 2006

USDA emphasizes federal-state collaboration in securing nation’s food supply, and holds drills to test new policy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it would collaborate more closely with states and private industry to protect the nation’s food supply from terrorist threats. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will conduct five critical food defense exercises this year. The first exercise took place in Alameda, California, on 18-19 January. These exercises are designed to practice reporting a non-routine incident while coordinating with all levels of government, non-governmental agencies, and the private sector in an incident command system structure. These exercises test the ability of all participants to collaborate more closely and become better prepared to keep the food supply safe. Additional food defense exercises will be conducted in Raleigh, North Carolina, 22-23 March; Chicago, Illinois, 17-18 May; Minneapolis, Minnesota, 19-20 July; and Albany, New York, 20-21 September. FSIS will eventually conduct similar exercises in all fifteen FSIS regional district offices.

-read more at USDA Web site