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Food defense risk of unlocked food delivery trucks?

food defense

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 06:54 PM

With regards to the food defense risk of unlocked back refrigerated areas of refrigerated food delivery trucks. How can we justify the risk to our unlocked trucks and food products being delivered in them? How do we convince Senior Management and the Transportation Dept. that there is a risk to our product when:

  • We are open 24/7
  • Trucks are parked in a dirt parking lot across the street from our facility.
  • The truck cabs and boxes are sometimes left unlocked.
  • The lot is NOT fenced.
  • Very little lighting and NO cameras.
  • The lot is in the midst of a small city and abutted by public housing.

We in QA know there is risk but we are up against "I have NEVER heard of anything happening to the inside of a truck in all my years"!


We are looking for info now but please advise and let us know of ANY real life situations regarding the storage areas of delivery trucks. 


Thank You Kindly!

Hank Major

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 07:26 PM

I would start small, ask for lighting and cameras.

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 07:55 PM

Everyone reacts differently, but maybe one of these might be helpful:


1.) Point to FSMA and its Intentional Adulteration rule and the necessity of having a realistic food defense plan in place.  The deadline for compliance is later this year (unless you are exempt).  If exempt, you still, I believe, have to comply with the BioTerrorism act of 2002.  Assume so, but since I've got to do the IA rule, so I didn't research if that law went away, etc. (doubt it).  


2.) Depending upon your local law enforcement, you might be able to get someone to come out and give you an assessment of your exposure.  It might go over better that way.


3.) Talk ROI.  Investment is just $X, but if you have a truck stolen or damaged, it would potentially cost $Y.  (Higher insurance costs, loss of load, etc.).  Can also talk about the cost of a rejected delivery.  Speaking of insurance, is it possible for them to get a better rate if they have defensive controls in place?  See also #7.


4.) Also for FSMA, you can possibly look to their Sanitary rule and your requirements as a shipper.  


5.) If you are audited by a GFSI scheme, that's another means to justify the investment as any GFSI scheme would require a plan and then would assess its relevance.


6.) Can it get used by sales/management in selling to clients?  (FSMA compliant, Ensuring your food is safe, insert marketing buzz words here)


7.) Can you justify the camera expense, etc. by talking about reducing employee theft, workers comp claims, or accidental damage costs?  


Anyway, random ideas are what I do best.  Hopefully maybe one of them sparks an idea for you. 


Good luck,




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Posted 21 May 2019 - 03:15 PM

Why do you have fire extinguishers in the plant but you have never had a fire?  Because the risk is high (high severity, damage) even though the probability is low (no fires so far).


The same for food defense.  It may not have happened in the past but it could be high risk if it happens in the future (large loss of dollars, lawsuit, etc.).


Same thing with car insurance - why do states require it when you have never been in an accident?  (low occurence x high severity = high risk)


Same thing with shootings in schools - they didn't happen in the past but they are happening now.

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 03:32 PM

Agree with CMHeywood, I dislike the general approach of "but it hasn't happened yet" or even "people have been doing it for decades and they've been ok".


Anyway, if you can't persuade senior management that you need more protection for food safety grounds, I'd go down the route of should for financial reasons. I've found that the potential for saving money perks up the ears of directors more than anything else, and I doubt that's just places I've worked in. In this case it would be prevention of losing resources from theft, or even the vehicles themselves. I expect there will be plenty of real life examples of those online.

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