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FSIS

Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Emergency Response

Emergency Management

The Significant Incident Preparedness and Response Staff (SIPRS) is responsible for the coordination of the emergency management functions for FSIS.  Emergency Management is the organization and management of the resources and responsibilities for dealing with all aspects of emergencies – preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery.  FSIS Directive 5500.2, Significant Incident Response, outlines how the agency will respond to significant food incidents and emergencies, both intentional and unintentional. The principles are consistent with the National Incident Management System/Incident Command System (NIMS/ICS) LINK structure.

The FSIS Emergency Management Committee (EMC), which is comprised of senior members of the agency's program areas and can be convened 24/7 to respond to all emergencies (significant incidents) using Incident Command System (ICS) principles. FSIS Directive 5500.2, Significant Incident Response established the operating principles of the EMC.

FSIS also works with other government agencies and private sector organizations to ensure that they can respond quickly and effectively to an attack on the food supply, major disease outbreak, or other disaster affecting the national food infrastructure

National Response Framework Activities

FSIS worked with other Federal agencies to develop the Food and Agriculture Incident Annex to the National Response Framework (NRF). The Annex outlines the food sector's plan to respond to emergencies. FSIS' responsibilities fall under Emergency Support Function 11 (ESF-11) (PDF Only) designated in the NRF. Based on this plan, FSIS is responsible for ensuring the safety and defense of the Nation's supply of meat, poultry, and processed egg products in the event of a national incident by assisting State and local authorities in their response activities.

FSIS is also collaborating with the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop the International Assistance System (IAS). The IAS is a set of policies and procedures designed for the review and receipt of offers of international assistance and resources during domestic disasters declared under the National Response Framework and pursuant to the Stafford Act.

State Emergency Management Activities

FSIS partnered with National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to create a template to assist States and local first responders in developing their own response plans that meet States' needs and are consistent with the NRP. The template is intended to facilitate cooperation and coordination among Federal and State agencies when responding to incidents involving the food supply.

FSIS also conducts exercises with State and local government agencies and industry to practice a coordinated response to an intentional adulteration incident in the food supply.

Food Emergency Response Network (FERN)

FERN is an integrated, secure laboratory system for federal, state, and local government agencies engaged in food safety and food defense activities. Currently consisting of many federal, state, and local laboratories, FERN is organized to ensure federal and state inter-agency participation and cooperation in the development and operation of the network. The system is jointly operated by the Department of Health and Human Service’s Food and Drug Administration (HHS/FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA/FSIS).

FERN plays a critical role in food safety and food defense by helping FSIS in detecting, identifying, respond to, and aid in the recovery from emergencies involving biological, chemical, or radiological contamination of food. FERN also allows for the analytical testing of large numbers of samples in various FSIS non-emergency situations; (for example Super Bowl, G7 Summit, DNC/RNC Conventions, etc.) just to name a few.

Through the FERN network FSIS has access to other Federal and State food-testing laboratories to handle any surge capacity that might be needed in responding to an intentional contamination event.

Additional information about FERN can be found in the Biennial Report to Congress on the Food Emergency Response Network.

Emergency Management Committee

The Significant Incident Preparedness and Response Staff (SIPRS) manages the FSIS Emergency Management Committee (EMC), which is comprised of senior members of the agency's program areas and can be convened 24/7 to respond to all emergencies (significant incidents) using Incident Command System (ICS) principles. FSIS Directive 5500.2, Significant Incident Response established the operating principles of the EMC.

 

Last Modified Dec 02, 2019