Resources for the Development of Emergency Preparedness Plans in School Foodservice Cyndie Story, MEd, RD, CC
Local school foodservice operations are often at the center of emergency response activities, working with local, state, and federal agencies to bring relief to those in need. Today, in the wake of the September 11 and Hurricane Katrina tragedies, it's more important than ever that school foodservice operators create and implement proactive and comprehensive emergency preparedness policies and procedures. Such steps will help school nutrition professionals work with community leaders to develop effective response plans and strategies designed to protect the health and safety of its residents.
Emergency preparedness encompasses a wide range of potential incidents, including natural disasters, intentional acts of violence, food recalls, and food defense (the prevention of the intentional contamination of food, also known as "food security"). Prompt and effective response in the face of such emergencies will require a thorough plan. Without the hindsight benefits of experience in each scenario, how can school nutrition professionals ensure they have covered all the possible bases? The following resource list was developed to assist school nutrition professionals locate materials that address a variety of potential emergencies. These can be used in the development of policies and procedures unique to an individual district or school.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, National Food Service Management Institute. (2003). Emergency readiness plan: A guide for the school foodservice operation. [Available online: http://www.nfsmi.org/Information/e-readiness.html.]
U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness Response Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-188, § 42, 116 Stat. 595. (2003). [Available online: http://www.fda.gov/oc/bioterrorism/bioact.html.]
U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2003). Risk assessment for food terrorism and other food safety concerns. [Available online: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/rabtact.html.]
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. (2002). Guidance for protecting building environments from airborne chemical, biological, or radiological attacks. Atlanta, GA: Author.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. (2003). Food producers, processors, and transporters: Food security preventive measures guidance. Washington, DC: Author.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. (2001). Food safety and security: Operational risk management systems approach. Washington, DC: Author.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. (2005). Strategic Partnership Program Agroterrorism (SPAA) Initiative: Executive summary. Washington, DC: Author.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2005). Retail food stores and food service establishments: Food security preventive measures guidance. Washington, DC: Author.
U.S. Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, U.S. Department of Education. (2003). Practical information on crisis planning: A guide for schools and communities. Washington, DC: Author.
World Health Organization. (2002). Terrorist threats to food: Guidance for establishing and strengthening prevention and response systems. Geneva, Switzerland: Author.
Journal Articles and Books
Bruemmer, B. (2003). Food biosecurity. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 103, 687-691.
Perry, R.W., & Mankin, L.D. (2005). Preparing for the unthinkable: Managers, terrorism and the HRM function. Public Personnel Management, 34, 175-193.
Schneider, H. (2005). Protecting public health in the age of bioterrorism surveillance: Is the price right? Journal of Environmental Health, 68(5), 9-13.
Stein, B.D., Tanielian, T.L., Vaiana, M.E., Rhodes, H.J., & Burnam, M.A. (2003). The role of schools in meeting community needs during bioterrorism. Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, 1(4), 273-281.
Zink, D.L. (2004). Agroterrorism: Issues of reality. Journal of Food Science, 69(2), 47-54.
Story is a registered dietitian, certified chef, and has a master’s degree in nutrition education. Currently, she is a PhD candidate in food and lodging management at the Child Nutrition Leadership Academy at Iowa State University.