Abstract

Very few food terrorist attacks have been reported so far with the most famous occurring in 1984 in Oregon, USA, when members of a religious cult contaminated food in two salad bars with the aim to influence local elections. However, some recent historical events have awakened Governments worldwide to the vulnerability of the food chain, and its potential to be a target for terrorist attacks. Food crises in the 1990s and the events of September 11 2001 have brought to mind that many vectors, food included, could be used to deliver a pathogenic agent. This new scenario needs to be addressed, having in mind Food Defence concerns. Activities aiming at protecting food products and food supply from intentional contamination are being outlined by both national and international organisations. The present situation concerning food defence will be discussed.

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