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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Grocers have new guidelines to help them keep their food safe from terrorists, thanks to a new "Retail Food Defense Preparedness Guide," developed by the Ohio departments of agriculture, health, and public safety here.
Available as a CD-ROM, the new guide gives grocers detailed information to help them assess and address any vulnerability in their food supply -- from the delivery of the products to the retail stores to the time it leaves the store with the customer.
The free guide is being distributed to 16,000 retailers statewide, said Tom Jackson, president of the Ohio Grocers' Association, which created the guide with the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
While food safety is something grocers have been addressing for years, Jackson said, "This guide gives grocers a clear and simple tool to learn and better understand food security."
New York and New Jersey have created similar food security tips, based on rules and regulations from the Bioterrorism Act of 2002.
"We have to think outside the box and prepare for that next attack," said Kenneth Morckel, director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety. "It's not just about planes hitting buildings or someone setting off bombs someplace."