FSIS works with other government agencies and private sector organizations to ensure that it is able to respond quickly and effectively to an attack on the food supply, major disease outbreak, or other disaster affecting the national food infrastructure.Links:
- National Response Framework (NRF)
- Emergency Support Function 11 (ESF-11) (PDF Only) & Food and Agriculture Incident Annex
- FSIS Directive 5500.2, Significant Incident Response
- Incident Command System Training (ICS) / National Incident Management System (NIMS) (PDF Only) (FEMA training)
- National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) | Emergency Response Template (Login Required)
- Food Emergency Response Network (FERN)
National Response Framework Activities
FSIS worked with other Federal agencies to develop the Food and Agriculture Incident Annex to the National Response Framework (NRF). The Annex outlines the food sector's plan to respond to emergencies. FSIS' responsibilities fall under Emergency Support Function 11 (ESF-11) (PDF Only) designated in the NRF. Based on this plan, FSIS is responsible for ensuring the safety and defense of the Nation's supply of meat, poultry, and processed egg products in the event of a national incident by assisting State and local authorities in their response.
FSIS is also collaborating with the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop the International Assistance System (IAS). The IAS is a set of policies and procedures designed for the review and receipt of offers of international assistance and resources during domestic disasters declared under the National Response Framework and pursuant to the Stafford Act.
FSIS Directive 5500.2, Significant Incident Response,outlines how the agency will respond to significant food incidents and emergencies, both intentional and unintentional. The principles are consistent with the National Incident Management System/Incident Command System (NIMS/ICS) LINK structure.
Emergency Management Committee
The Office of Data Integration and Food Protection manages the FSIS Emergency Management Committee (EMC), which is comprised of senior members of the agency's program areas and can be convened 24/7 to respond to all emergencies (significant incidents) using Incident Command System (ICS) principles. FSIS Directive 5500.2, Significant Incident Response established the operating principles of the EMC.
State Emergency Response Activities
- National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA)
- Food Emergency Response Network (FERN)
FSIS partnered with National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to create a template to assist States and local first responders in developing their own response plans that meet States' needs and are consistent with the NRP. The template is intended to facilitate cooperation and coordination among Federal and State agencies when responding to incidents involving the food supply.
FSIS also conducts exercises with State and local government agencies and industry to practice a coordinated response to an intentional adulteration incident in the food supply.
Food Emergency Response Network (FERN)
Through the FERN network FSIS has access to other Federal and State food-testing laboratories to handle any surge capacity that might be needed in responding to an intentional contamination event.
Additional information about FERN can be found in the Biennial Report to Congress on the Food Emergency Response Network.
FSIS' Incident Management System (FIMS)
FIMS is a web-based common operating platform that allows program managers to rapidly identify, respond to, and track the Agency's response to significant incidents involving meat, poultry, and processed egg products and other large scale emergencies, such as hurricanes and pandemics, that could affect FSIS-regulated products.
FSIS Emergency Response Plans
FSIS has developed, implemented and validated a number of Emergency Response Plans that are updated on at least an annual basis. These plans cover a diverse range of topics and situations that FSIS must be prepared for in order to ensure the continued safety of the meat, poultry and processed egg product supply regardless of the incident. These range from Human Pandemic Response Plan to an All Hazards Plan used for a variety of incidents like hurricanes to terrorist attacks.
For more information about FSIS Emergency Response Planning efforts, please contact the Emergency Coordination Staff at (202) 690-6486.