The Food and Drug Administration is introducing a new tool it says can help food production facilities prevent intentional food contamination.

New FDA tool helps prevent intentional facility contaminationThe Food Defense Plan Builder is designed to help bolster the food industry’s defense measures against an act of intentional food contamination, according to a news release.

The tool was designed to be an easy-to-use software program developed to help owners and operators of food facilities generate customized plans to minimize the risk of intentional contamination, according to the release.

The FDA doesn’t require food operations to implement food defense plans.

However, many facilities are voluntarily implementing such plans to safeguard their products, FDA officials said in the release.

To help develop a comprehensive food defense plan for the facility, the software guides users through a series of questions concerning the user’s food facility and the food manufactured, processed, packed or stored there.

The software covers food producers ranging from primary production and manufacturing to retail and transportation and the program includes a vulnerability assessment, broad and focused mitigation strategies as well as an action plan, according to the release.

The tool can be downloaded for free at