The Food Protection and Defense Institute improved the food defense expertise of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate by hosting two Food Defense Courses during Summer 2017—one 3-day Basic Food Defense Course (July 18- 20, 2017) and one 3-day Advanced Food Defense Course (September 12-14, 2017).
These trainings were customized specifically for the FBI by FPDI experts in developing and delivering food defense content. FPDI experts included Dr. Amy Kircher, Dr. Jennifer van de Ligt, Dr. Deb Freedman, Col. John Hoffman, Neal Fredrickson, Erin Mann, Penny Norquist, Dr. Jon DeVries, and Dustin Nelson. Representatives from Minnesota Department of Health, Minneapolis Public Health, Minnesota Public Health, University of Minnesota, FDA, Civil Support Team, USDA, Department of Homeland Security, and Cargill were also involved in providing food defense expertise and content.
The Basic course provided agents, analysts, and lab personnel with an understanding of the nature of food defense crimes, realization of the complexity of the food supply chain, strategies of investigation for food defense incidents, and approaches to facilitate collaboration with academia, industry, public health, and other law enforcement.
The Advanced Course was designed as a game, “...a simulation of operations that often involves two or more teams, usually in a competitive environment, using rules, data, and procedure designed to depict an actual or assumed real-life situation.” (https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1914-25045-8890/hseep_apr13_.pdf ). The game challenged agents, analysts, and lab personnel to investigate a fictional food intentional adulteration incident. The game included detailed background information and scenario context, intelligence briefs, use of University of Minnesota facilities, and multiple evidence trails. The Advanced Food Defense Course allowed graduates from the Basic Food Defense course to use their learnings in a simulated food defense incident to further develop understanding and investigation techniques for intentional food contamination incidents.