The Intentional Adulteration rule from the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires food companies to create and follow a written food defense plan. On July 26, 2019, the rule goes into effect for food facilities with more than 500 employees. Smaller businesses, depending on size, have another year or two to comply.

“The purpose of the rule is to protect food from a person or group of people who are intentionally doing something to the food to either cause illness or death on a large scale,” according to Ryan Newkirk, Senior Advisor for Intentional Adulteration with the Food Defense and Emergency Coordination Staff. “The rule does this by requiring that certain facilities develop and implement a food defense plan. It applies both to domestic facilities and foreign facilities that export food to the United States.”

These resources will help you comply with the Intentional Adulteration (IA) rule.


The Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) is an applied food science research consortium made up of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), the FDA, and food industry representatives. The FSPCA offers online courses, some free and some paid. Free courses include Food Defense Awareness for the IA Rule and Overview of the Intentional Adulteration Rule. Paid courses include IA Conducting Vulnerability Assessments Using Key Activity Types ($159) and IA Identification and Explanation of Mitigation Strategies ($169).

The FSPCA also offers in-person courses, such as the one-day Conducting Vulnerability Assessments Course in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada on August 27, 2019, and September 24, 2019, for US$795. Contact the FSPCA to find out the availability of other in-person courses.


The FDA offers a free course, Food Defense Awareness for Front-Line Employees. The website states the FDA is developing new trainings in cooperation with the FSPCA Intentional Adulteration Subcommittee.

The FDA website also has a resource page for food defense and offers a free Food Defense Plan Builder. Plus, the USDA has a guide to creating a functional food defense plan.

Free webinars

SafetyChain, a company selling quality management software, offers a free on-demand webinar with Rod Wheeler, CEO of The Global Food Defense Institute. Wheeler clarifies FSMA’s IA rule requirements and identifies tools that help large food manufacturers and processors identify their vulnerabilities in two days or less 

Alchemy, an online platform for food industry training and education, has a free on-demand webinar with the company’s food safety expert, Jeff Chilton. The webinar covers the requirements of the IA rule, how to make sure a food defense plan is audit-ready, conducting a vulnerability assessment and identifying mitigation strategies, and best practices for preventing adulteration. 

The International Food Safety & Quality Network has a video called Pitfalls of Accounting for Intentional Adulteration in Your Food Safety Plan. The presentation discusses industry best practices, compares them with regulatory requirements, and suggests how to prevent compromise of developed mitigation strategies.

Paid training

ComplianceIQ offers online training — What to Expect with the new FSMA International Adulteration Regulation — on August 6, 2019. Cost is $249 for one attendee, with discounts for additional attendees.

Penn State Department of Food Science offers a one-day Food Defense Workshop designed to comply with the IA regulation. Currently scheduled are classes on October 24, 2019, in both Malvern, PA, and North Huntington, PA. Cost is $200.

Read more about the Intentional Adulteration Rule: