top of page

Frequently Asked Questions


 01  What’s the difference between food safety and food defense and food security?

Food safety uses science-based knowledge to evaluate the processes used to grow, harvest, process, store and distribute food items to minimize people from getting sick from eating food items/products.  So food safety is used to minimize illnesses associated with food items/products from inherent hazards, or accidental/unintentional contaminants or adulterants.  Food defense also evaluates the processes used to grow, harvest, process, store and distribute food, but from the viewpoint of preventing risks associated with intentionally contaminated or adulterated food.  Food defense is a way to reduce or mitigate the risks associated with food-related terrorism, disgruntled employees, etc.  As for food security, some people erroneously use the terms ‘food defense’ and ‘food security’ interchangeably.  In actuality, food security is related to making sure that people have enough nutritious food to eat and relates to preventing chronic hunger and malnutrition. Inquire about how we can help you.




 02  Does my facility need a food defense plan?

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) does require that some food processors have a Food Defense plan as part of the Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intention Adulteration rule that was finalized in May, 2016.  However, within that rule are some exceptions, so not all food processors are required to have a food defense plan.  The exceptions to the Intentional Adulteration rule can be found in the FDA FSMA link:

Regardless of required compliance with the FSMA Intentional Adulteration rule, because food defense plans are the best known way to prevent widespread harm from intentionally adulterated food, it is an ethically good practice and a smart business decision to have a food defense plan for every facility that processes, stores or distributes food to the general public.  CSB Food Works, LLC can be your partner in developing a comprehensive food defense plan unique to your facility.  Our consultant has over six years of experience assisting facilities in developing food defense plans that met the stringent DLA Troop Support Prime Vendor contract requirements.  Inquire about how we can help you.




 03  I’ve heard the terms “FSMA” and “HARPC” – what’s the difference?

FSMA stands for FDA Food Safety Modernization Act which is the official acronym used for the public law signed by President Obama on January 4, 2011 to ensure the US food supply is safe by focusing on preventive measures instead of reacting to problems as they occur.  The FSMA regulation has 7 published rules including: preventive controls for human and animal food, produce safety, safe transportation of food, mitigating the risks of intentional adulteration of food, food safety controls on imported food and accreditation of the certification bodies (& their auditors) that review the food safety practices of the imported food production facilities.  Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls (HARPC) was the term coined prior to the publication of the final 7 FSMA Rules.  Both FSMA and HARPC refer to the Food Safety Modernization Act requirements, but the FDA has cited “FSMA” as the official acronym to be used.  Inquire about how we can help you become compliant to this widesweeping regulation.




 04  What is a “PCQI” and does my facility need to have one?

PCQI is the abbreviation for a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual as defined in the FSMA Preventive Controls for Human and Animal Food rules: “A preventive controls qualified individual is someone who has successfully completed certain training in the development and application of risk-based preventive controls or is otherwise qualified through job experience to develop and apply a food safety system. The written food safety plan required of food facilities must be prepared, or its preparation overseen, by one or more preventive controls qualified individuals. And the preventive controls qualified individual is charged with overseeing the validation that preventive controls are capable of controlling identified hazards and the records review.”  If your facility is required to be registered with the FDA as a food processor, then yes, you will need to have at least one PCQI for your facility (more than one is preferable.)  One way to have a PCQI is to have someone from your company complete a FSPCA Preventive Controls for (Human or Animal) Food course.  Ask CSB Food Works, LLC about training opportunities as our consultant/trainer is a Lead Instructor for both the FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Food and Animal Food courses.  On-site training at your facility can be arranged. Inquire about how we can help you.




 05  I hear about food safety consulting firms a lot, but not food quality consulting.  How can CSB Food Works, LLC help my facility with food quality?

Food quality encompasses many facets of food products: how a product looks, tastes, feels, it’s length of shelf life before it spoils, product specifications, consistency from one batch of product to another, if a product meets government grading standards – just to mention a couple of those facets.  We like to link food quality to characteristics that determine if a consumer wants to continue buying a product.  The consumer may buy something once, but if it doesn’t meet their expectations, then they probably won’t spend money on it again.  Quality can make or break food sales.  Our consultant has 20+ years in the food industry in multiple food quality roles. We can be an extension of your company’s QA department, help enhance your Quality systems or just assist on a project-by-project basis.  The choice is yours as to how much or little assistance you receive.  Contact us to discuss your food quality issues and how we can help you overcome them.

bottom of page