Even dispensing it, he says, there should be a program and safeguards in place. Some employees have chemicals hidden away in their lockers. These chemicals are perhaps preferences for jobs they do, but from a security stand point, any cleaning chemical needs to be logged on a material safety data sheets (MSDSs)
“Sometimes a bartender will be given a trial-size spray cleaner that they will use to control pests, like fruit flies,” Nelken explains. “A bartender is not a licensed pest control technician. Residue could be left behind and people can get sick. Part of security is making sure the MSDSs are kept up to date. If there is an accident, there could be fines and injuries. If someone brings you a sample of something, make sure you have it on the MSDS.”
Protocols for recalls, laboratory practices and even computer and electrical back-ups, he says, are expressions on food security’s proverbial face. “What if you lose the integrity of your piping system?” Nelken exclaims. “What if the sewage gets backed up? Are you prepared? Do you have a procedure in place?”
Visitors to food processing plants or farm should not have free reign, like the camera crew from NBC4. “There needs to be some kind of security,” Nelken explains. “Can people come in through the roof or can just anyone walk through a door that should not have been left open? I go into places and they take my driver’s license and they give me a visitor’s badge. Visitors need to be accompanied through the visit.”
Equally important to securing the facility or farm is ensuring the workforce has integrity.
“Make sure human resources are coordinated with the food and beverage department, checking references and doing background checks,” Nelken adds. “A lot of the casinos require background checks. If you take it to the field, you will find out who you are hiring to work the land.” While there are many ways to fashion the glance of food security, Nelken poses these questions and answer, “How do rebuild confidence? What can we do to improve the system? You have to perform due diligence and check it out.”