How safe are you?
Challenging facility and site security., Dec. 20, 2011
by Darryl Wernimont, director of marketing, POWER Engineers
POWER Engineers

The initiatives associated with food security are not the same as those associated with food safety. With food safety, manufacturers work to prevent accidental contamination; with food plant security, manufacturers must work to prevent intentional acts.

The events of Sept. 11, 2001, placed a new level of awareness on facility and product security. Manufacturers are reaching out to leverage the capabilities of engineers, suppliers, contractors and regulators to help plan and implement facility security measures.

Evaluating a facility or a food security program, starts with six base assessment steps:

  1. Identify the threats
  2. Assess the risk
  3. Analyze risk control measures
  4. Make control decisions
  5. Implement risk controls
  6. Supervise and review.

At their heart, food security projects focus on site and facility access control (points of entry and exit), and the associated surveillance and monitoring.


In assessing the exterior of a facility, a site security program should encompass the following key components:


In assessing the interior of a facility, a site security program should consider the following key components with an eye to preventing unauthorized access or intentional contamination:


In the development of an overall facility security program additional aspects of a facility will require evaluation and, where appropriate, protocol development. These additional areas for consideration include:


There is no cut-and-dried approach that will provide your facility with a simple solution. Once a plan is developed and put in place, the effort has only just begun. Facility security should be seen as an ongoing activity that will always be in a state of change. Just as a company reviews its product strategies to ensure that they are in line with its markets, a facility security plan requires similar reviews to remain ahead of the curve in terms of potential threats.

This story is sponsored by POWER Engineers, which has one of the most comprehensive teams of engineers and specialists serving the baking and snack industry. As an extension of its clients' engineering teams, the company provides program management, integrated solutions and full facility design for the baking and snack industry. Learn more at