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Food Defense

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 Program Contact

Jim Armstrong MS, REHS
Program Manager
216.201.2000 ext 1251

In the United States, food defense is a commitment made by the food industry, public health, law enforcement and our government to prevent terrorists from intentionally contaminating food. Terrorists may want to harm our food supply to cause injury or illness, or to cause financial damage to individuals and businesses.

Mitigation strategies, or methods used to reduce potential harm, are effective ways to keep terrorists from entering food facilities. We share these strategies with our local businesses to help them protect their products, employees and customers.

Wherever you shop for food, be attentive and report anything that seems unusual or potentially dangerous.

If you see something, say something!


Why We Are Concerned

In Cuyahoga County, our sanitarians conduct thousands of inspections each year. They are trained to recognize the ways in which businesses could be harmed. With every inspection, we work to raise awareness among food operators.

Among the items we discuss with our operators are:

  • Checking IDs – we have reports of people who are not CCBH employees attempting to enter businesses by posing as health inspectors
  • Intentional contamination –  having plans in place to prevent someone from biologically, chemically, or physically contaminating food
  • Conducting regular assessments – using a checklist to be sure that their business is as secure and prepared as possible


Simple Tips

  • Require all visitors to non-public areas to sign in and obtain a visitor’s badge
  • Maintain a roster of authorized visitors with photos
  • Visitors are always escorted by an employee in non-public areas
  • Secure all non-public exterior doors


Click here to visit the FDA Food Defense page for more information

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