A Model Approach to Developing Food Safety Emergency Response Standard Operating Procedures
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State food safety programs are responsible for ensuring the safety of the food supply in their jurisdictions. Disasters can have profound effects on the safety of food. Currently, there is no information available for food programs to assist them in the development of emergency response procedures. The majority of the literature focuses on the development of overall state response structures and does not delve into the specifics for response at the program level. This research attempts to meld the broad literature on emergency response and the current practices of state food safety programs into a model document for state programs to use as a tool to update existing or develop new procedures. The methods employed in this exploratory research are document analysis of current state food safety documents and interviews with state food safety personnel. The research was based on seven ideal type categories (All Hazard, Definitions of Disaster, Authority, Roles and Responsibilities, Communication and Coordination, Resources, and Familiarity) that were gleaned from the literature on emergency response management and used as a point of departure for further inquiry. The findings of this research, while preliminary, were positive in nature. Due to the exploratory nature of the study, definitive results are not possible. The document created here is therefore not finished, but provides a starting point for further explorations and development.