Preventing unauthorized access is a basic food defence strategy that every food business should be implementing. But how far do you go and what could be consequence if you do nothing? In this post, find out some easy strategies that you can implement to stop unauthorized access to your food premises.
The risk of unauthorized access
Before we jump into the prevention strategies, it is good to understand the risk of unauthorized access and why it can be a problem for your food business. For people who do not have the health of your customers or the health of your business in mind, unauthorized access can lead to intentional contamination of your food product. Any product that has been contaminated can then cause illness and injury to your consumers.
Seven defense strategies
1. Install a perimeter fence with a gated entrance. This should be your first line of defense to prevent unauthorized access to your food production facility. Make sure that the fence is not damaged and is a hindrance for access.
2. Lock all external doors. Doors that have one way access (from inside to outside) are recommended in this case. Make sure that staff do not chock doors open. Depending on where your business is located you may need to consider fire exit legal requirements.
3. Implement a visitor sign in / sign out policy. Having all visitors sign in and out of your food business helps to control and know who is or who is not in your building. Make sure that access policies also include contractors.
4. Secure all other building access points like windows and vents. Locks on windows, screens or bars can help secure windows. Take a look at how access is controlled to your buildings vent system, especially through the roof/ceiling system. You may want to perform a risk assessment to see if unauthorized access via this method is possible.
5. Implement an employee access identification process. You don’t want all employees having access to all areas of your food factory. The key is to have highly sensitive areas in your food business only accessible by responsible, highly trusted employees.
6. Install and monitor security cameras. This can be for both preventing external and internal unauthorized access. Security cameras can act as a deterrent to potential international contamination.
7. Question and report. All employees should be encouraged to question and report unauthorized access. This is especially the case when a person that they are unfamiliar with is walking around the factory unaccompanied.
Food Defense Plan
The risk of unauthorized access should be included in every food defense plan. Depending on where you are located or if you are required to maintain a GFSI recognized standard, unauthorized access should be included as part of your vulnerability assessment. If you are interested in learning more on how to put together a food defense plan for your food business, let me know by clicking here.
Share your strategies
I have only touched on seven different methods to minimize unauthorized access on this occasion. There are several more that you may be using in your food business. Share your experience with the HACCP Mentor community by leaving a comment below.