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Food & Agriculture Safety & Defense Derek Ruhl Emergency Preparedness Coordinator & EPLO.

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Presentation on theme: "Food & Agriculture Safety & Defense Derek Ruhl Emergency Preparedness Coordinator & EPLO."— Presentation transcript:

1 Food & Agriculture Safety & Defense Derek Ruhl Emergency Preparedness Coordinator & EPLO

2 Pennsylvania’s Food Supply Safety & Security of the food supply is important for two reasons: 1.The well-being of PA’s 12.5 million citizens and their uninterrupted access to an abundant, affordable and safe food supply 2.The stability of the state’s number one economic enterprise, as the food, fuel and fiber system accounts for $46.4 billion and employs more than 1 million Pennsylvanians

3 Pennsylvania’s Food Industry Landscape 58,000 farms 5,000 food manufacturing firms 3 ports – Philadelphia, Erie, Pittsburgh 2,200 warehouses 3,200 food processors 400 dairy processing/distribution facilities 4,750 frozen desert operations 15,100 retail food stores

4 Major Threats to Agriculture Agriculture threats can become reality either by intentional introduction or naturally-occurring outbreaks and incursions in the U.S. Animal Pathogens There are more than 20 potential animal diseases that could be introduced in the United States and impact a variety of species that impact human life either through the food supply or in a less direct manner, such as research facilities

5 Major Threats to Agriculture Food Contaminations Intentional introductions of bio-agents, chemical, or radiological contaminants Plant Pathogens & Pests Pathogens can multiply and mutate rapidly, causing disease in plants Fungi, bacteria, viruses, mycoplasmas and nematodes are all pathogens that could be used for malicious intent Plum Pox Virus & invasive pests such as Emerald Ash Borer Less likely then an animal attack

6 Major Threats to Agriculture International Threats Anti-western groups, jihadist groups Domestic Threats Eco-terrorism Animal Liberation Front Earth Liberation Front

7 Pennsylvania’s Food Industry Landscape 600 camps & summer food sites inspected by PDA 2,800 schools inspected by PDA 320 seasonal farm labor camps 27,500 PDA inspected public eating and drinking establishments

8 Interagency Initiatives & Programs Governor’s Preparedness Interagency Executive Management Committee Commonwealth Critical Infrastructure Protection Program Steering Committee Strategic Partnership Program Agro- terrorism (SPPA) Initiative PDA’s Digital Health Department Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)/Good Handling Practices

9 Governor’s Preparedness Interagency Executive Management Committee Governor-led group combines Cabinet members and upper-level agency directors Provides validation and direction towards agricultural initiatives and provides other agency resources in support of projects

10 Commonwealth Critical Infrastructure Protection Program Steering Committee Led by Office of Homeland Security 5 lead working groups and 17 different subgroups Led by PDA - Food and Agriculture working group is identifying critical facilities (processors, pesticide and fertilizer manufacturers, distribution warehouses, livestock auctions)

11 Strategic Partnership Program Agro-terrorism (SPPA) A federal initiative that is implemented at the state level Partners are USDHS, USDA, FDA, FBI SPPA exercises bring together regulatory agencies and private sector businesses Previous SPPA exercises have been used to review food processing vulnerabilities and have featured PDA employees

12 PDA’s Digital Health Department 180 local health departments with food safety inspection responsibility 10 Act 315 local health departments with food safety responsibility PDA has 27,500 eating and drinking establishments & retail, processor and wholesale inspection responsibilities Digital Health Department is a cross- jurisdictional communications and inspection system

13 PDA’s Digital Health Department DHD provides real-time licensing and inspection information about the public eating and drinking establishments across PA Ultimately, DHD will include all post- harvest food facilities in Pennsylvania (e.g. food processors, distributors, retail) There are approximately 60,000 food facilities in the post-harvest continuum

14 Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) & Good Handling Practices (GHP) USDA voluntary audits for producers (GAP) and processors (GHP) are available in Pennsylvania through PDA Through program, PDA helps local producers and processors minimize the risk of contamination of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and miscellaneous commodities by microbial pathogens

15 PDA Improvements & Initiatives Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) Strategy for Agriculture & Food Excellence (SAFE) Commonwealth’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Program (CCIPP) PA Department of Agriculture Food Tampering Protocols

16 Improvements & Initiatives Agriculture Working Group Rapid Response Team Developments Regional Task Force – Agriculture Subcommittees and Ag Emphasis Emergency Support Function #11 Enhancement County Animal Response Teams Food Distribution Response Plan (Pennsylvania Food Merchants Assoc.)

17 Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) PDA has 2 laboratories that are categorized as FERN (PVL, Food Safety Lab) FERN – Network of labs that work together during incidents of national significance Salmonella outbreak used FERN Assists with surge capacity issues

18 PDA’s Laboratories Plant Pathology Laboratory (invasive plants) Seed Laboratory Entomology Laboratory (invasive pests) Food Safety Laboratory (food, feed) (chemical, microbiological, biological, pesticide, fertilizer testing) Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System (PADLS-animal diseases)

19 PDA’s Laboratories PADLS is comprised of University of Pennsylvania, Dept of Veterinary Science; PSU Animal Diagnostic Lab; and the PDA Veterinary Laboratory PDA Veterinary Lab PDA vet lab currently has had a mobile Bio- Security Level 3 laboratory since 2007 PDA is constructing a brick and mortar BSL-3 lab in 2009 (BSL3 can test for some of the most dangerous animal disease in existence)

20 Strategy for Agriculture and Food Excellence (SAFE Initiative) Main purpose is to identify & address food supply issues from farm field to consumer fork

21 SAFE Initiative Develop a Food Security Council to facilitate an integrated approach food safety in PA. Oversee the implementation of the SAFE initiative Partner with Universities for development and delivery of programs for food industry representatives and government stakeholders Leverage sustained funding for the “Good Agricultural Practices” program which employs highly specialized auditors to conduct audits on farms and retail companies.

22 SAFE Initiative Work closely with PennPorts and regional port authorities in PA to provide food safety security and outreach/training events for wholesalers and employees in the food sector Recommend changes to legislation to create a more comprehensive approach to food safety and security (too many different jurisdictions) Cultivate relationships with Regional Task Forces to fully integrate agricultural incident prevention and response at the county level (create agricultural subcommittees)

23 SAFE Initiative Prevent Educate and train the food processing community regarding importance of local food safety and security practices. Recommending new legislation that would better protect consumers in PA Create a Food Safety & Security Council to establish an integrated approach to food safety and oversee the implementation of the SAFE Initiative

24 SAFE Initiative Coordinate activities with St. Joseph’s University to develop food system exercises (2008 FMD exercise); develop studies and on-line educational initiatives Provide funding sources to cover third-party audits to producers Work closely with PennPorts and the regional port authorities in Pennsylvania to provide food safety and security training/outreach to employees and wholesalers in the food supply sector

25 SAFE Initiative PDA and the Commonwealth does not play regulatory roles at the ports PDA will work with port authorities in New York, Wimington, Baltimore and other state departments of agriculture to create a waterfront food safety and security consortium looking at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the food supply coming to America via the ports

26 SAFE Initiative Work on FDA’s Food Protection Plan and interagency Working Group on Import Safety Addresses recommendations for new and revised legislation, changes in protocols, and integration of data at the state/federal intersect

27 SAFE Initiative Protect Commonwealth Critical Infrastructure Protection Program Respond Continued investment in USAHERDS for livestock herd registrations/locations in PA System tracks animals throughout the food chain, and allows PDA to respond rapidly and effectively during times of emergency

28 SAFE Initiative Integrate training efforts and response mechanisms of ESF 11 with federal, state, and county agencies (county via the task forces) Work with University of Pennsylvania to create special educational opportunities for future veterinarians to work in many capacities Expand the PDA animal health and food safety field staff Develop food and animal feed rapid response teams Develop all-hazard agriculture strike teams

29 SAFE Initiative Establish communication chains and protocols that tie testing facilities and personnel together across the animal, plant and food sectors Recover Work with task forces to help develop recovery protocols and procedures PDA inspectors are essential to establishing recovery by getting business back on track and allowing them to restart commerce

30 Commonwealth’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Program (CCIPP) Pennsylvania has a Food & Agriculture Working Group to determine Tier 2 & Tier 3 critical infrastructures Office of Homeland Security to work with local responders and facilities to help protect critical infrastructures Initial contact with facilities is close to being made

31 PDA – Food Tampering Protocols PDA has been working with FDA, FBI and state and local law enforcement agencies on food tampering incidents Food tampering flyers – liaison with law enforcement Interagency communications has improved tremendously Penn State University has assisted with developing contact lists with processors

32 Agriculture Working Group Working Group is chaired by FBI and includes task force members, PSU Cooperative Extension, DHS, OHS, USDA, FDA, US Attorneys Office, PDA, food processor associations and others Work group is causing a tremendous increase in information sharing for the best interests of food and agriculture protection

33 Rapid Response Teams PDA has been working to develop an all hazard agricultural rapid response team PDA has trained plant, food, and animal inspection staff who can provide assistance to CBRNE incidents PDA needs to enhance capabilties (e.g. PPE and trained responders) Rapid response food, plant and animal teams are constantly being pursued

34 Regional Task Forces PDA has been active with regional task forces statewide There have been many agriculture-based training opportunities provided through the task forces Task forces are critical to bridge the gap between the state government, local government and private sector (help pave the way to engender an agriculture protection mindset at the local levels and with producers and industry)

35 Emergency Support Function #11 ESF 11 defines PDA’s roles, responsibilities and resources as well as all those of their supporting agencies National Response Framework (USDA is the lead federal agency for incidents impacting agriculture and natural resources, PDA is lead state agency) Tremendous enhancements are being made to ESF 11 (major expansion is occurring) Expanding supporting agencies to include non- governmental agencies

36 Emergency Support Function #11 PDA has created an ESF 11 Standard Operating Procedure SOP defines activation levels and how to integrate agency resources in response to an event that is impacting the food system in Pennsylvania and Incorporates NIMS and defines how to activate a PDA emergency operations center

37 Food Distribution Response Plan PDA leading effort with private industry members of the PA Food Merchants Association to develop a statewide food distribution response plan Plan will define a mechanism to acquire and transport food and commodity to an affected population or community via the retail sector in PA Partners include multiple state agencies and multiple retail chains

38 County Animal Response Teams CARTS are present in 62 of 67 counties Volunteers teams that can be activated by the County Emergency Coordinators Domestic animal rescue and large animal rescue

39 What Else Can Be Done? Government agencies need to continue to partner with private sector and local government on initiatives and plans Continue to define gaps and weaknesses and focus on bridging gaps (e.g. trained responders and laboratory capabilities) Focus on prevention and recovery just as much as response Counties and state must enhance relationships Continue to enhance private and public relationship


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