Food Manufacturer Turns to Integrator for Compliance & Security Technology Master Plan
The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law in January 2011 and enacted in 2015, was the most sweeping reform of U.S. food safety in more than 70 years. The impending regulation provided the impetus for one major food manufacturer to assess its current physical security program and develop a plan for the implementation of mitigation measures focused on anticipated compliance requirements.
FSMA encompasses more than just food safety regulations; it includes physical security and safety technologies, processes and procedures that are targeted at protecting against both unintentional and intentional acts of contamination. With more than 20 plants nationwide — many possessing security systems at different stages of the lifecycle and no physical security standards in place — this food manufacturer knew it was time for a complete assessment and technology upgrade. FSMA was the impetus for the assessment and upgrade, but the desire to get ahead of that regulation and to be at the leading edge of it drove the company to search for an integration partner. This partner needed to address all aspects of FSMA compliance and serve as its security technology subject matter expert, while working collaboratively with the manufacturer’s internal project team to identify, design and implement a new security technology platform across all plant locations.
The Request for Proposal (RFP) outlined the company’s desire for services to include: on-site risk, threat and vulnerability assessments at various plant locations; an educational security technology whitepaper describing the current state of enterprise security system technology; an evaluation of industry-leading security technologies; and development of a security technology master plan addressing implementation across all U.S.-based plant locations. In addition to the services outlined in the RFP, the company was seeking a trusted partner that could provide turnkey design and implementation of the selected security technology platform at each plant location. There was a catch — they wanted the first three tasks completed in just 12 weeks.
Dallas-based integrator Securadyne Systems (see related article on page 58) was one of the companies that replied to the RFP. Without a prior relationship with the food manufacturer, Securadyne relied on its extensive experience with these sorts of projects and its reputation in the industry. To meet the schedule challenge, Securadyne proposed a work plan consisting of three concurrent work streams, all led by a single project manager to ensure consistency and timely completion of all tasks. Securadyne’s project approach, proposed work plan and demonstrated level of subject-matter expertise, combined with its extensive design and installation experience, resulted in the integrator winning the contract. In fact, Securadyne was told its proposal was the most comprehensive, responsive and accurately prepared proposal submitted, which made the award decision easier than anticipated.
To meet the objectives, Securadyne assembled an assessment team consisting of physical security, fire protection and FSMA subject matter experts. This team organized their approach to ensure that the data gathered during the assessment process addressed the applicable aspects of FDA, USDA, C-TPAT and CFATS regulatory expectations. To ensure consistency across all locations, the assessment team created a questionnaire that was focused on food defense requirements. Both the FDA Food Defense Builder and the USDA FSIS Self-Assessment Checklists were utilized as primary resources for development of the questionnaire. The questionnaire was then utilized to guide the assessment team through multiple days of meetings, interviews and field observation to gather all necessary data.
Upon completion of the fieldwork, data from each location was used as input to an automated security audit software tool. One of the key features of the tool is an unbiased calculation that measures the facility’s level of compliance for each of the business elements and the individual components. The compliance scores for all facilities assessed were below 50 percent. When these compliance scores were combined with other risk factors, all locations were placed in the high to very high probability range for the overall likelihood that a people or food safety perilous event would occur. Upon completion of this analysis, the Securadyne team went on to identify and recommend additional mitigation measures intended to address the identified gaps in the existing physical security programs and raise the overall level of compliance to an acceptable level.
In addition to conducting the risk, threat, and vulnerability assessments as described above, Securadyne produced an educational whitepaper that presented the food manufacturer with insight into the current state of security technology and trends affecting the security industry and how multinational organizations are leveraging today’s technology.
One topic of particular interest to the food manufacturer was a discussion addressing industry trends for cloud-based versus on-premises solutions. Ultimately the food manufacturer selected a cloud-based hosted solution. According to the integrator, what drove the manufacturer to this approach was, unlike most other large enterprise customers, they did not have a short- or even medium-term plan to create a global security operations center to monitor the security systems. They were more interested in a decentralized approach; however, they did want to leave the door open to configure it in true enterprise fashion later. The solution chosen will allow them to do that, the integrator said.
PROJECTS in the News
Teams from around the world converged on Williamsport in central Pennsylvania for the 70th annual Little League Baseball World Series championship, which ran through Aug. 28. The Little League Baseball World Series (LLBWS) is a special summer youth sporting event celebrating sportsmanship, hard work and fun for leagues from 7,000 communities and 83 countries.
As it has for the past 18 years, Lenel played a role. From Lenel mobile apps that allow on-site officers to monitor and share video to Interlogix technology (new to the games) to help protect the on-site police station, advanced security solutions are in place throughout the World Series complex. Lenel and Interlogix are parts of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp.
“Lenel’s donation of time, expertise and systems gives us the latest in electronic security,” said James Ferguson, director of security for Little League Int’l. “That lets us provide top level security, so fans, coaches, volunteers, families and players can enjoy and celebrate the games.”
South East Water, based in Melbourne, Australia, recently upgraded its mix of standalone, legacy monitoring systems with an integrated, flexible video surveillance platform from Milestone Systems to support the organization’s ambitious technology and innovation strategy.
Milestone’s open platform paired with network cameras from Axis Communications, enables South East Water to monitor its assets with a centralized, integrated solution that is easy for employees to use. Axis network cameras provide comprehensive coverage of offices and remote facilities, as well as street and underground sewage and drainage systems. Milestone Mobile’s Video Push notification allows South East Water to quickly respond to incidents such as major infrastructure damage, burst pipes, sewer spills and other critical events that can all be streamed in real-time from operators’ phones to the control room.
3xLOGIC Inc. announced Hamilton School District, located in Hamilton, Mont., installed 3xLOGIC’s Intelli-M Access, a browser-based access control management solution, at all of the district’s buildings.
Judy Hake, maintenance and transportation director for the school district, led the transition to electronic access control. “Initially, we were looking at installing video surveillance,” she said. “Our supplier, Super Circuit, introduced us to the idea of integrating the new cameras with access control. We had a webinar with our administration and the school board made the commitment to this video and access control as a package to improve the overall safety of our facilities. At that time we were introduced to the Intelli-M access control system — we’ve been doing the installation ever since.”
Intelli-M access control is installed across five locations: the high school, middle, elementary and primary schools, as well as the administrative offices. To date, 174 doors have been fitted with security. Most are interior doors with Stanley hardware, and 30 are exterior doors. The district has been somewhat limited by budget, so each principal decided which doors were the priority for the first phase of installation.
Upscale Resale is a thrift store operated by South County Outreach, a charitable organization that maintains a Food Pantry, low-income housing, and other programs for people in need in the areas surrounding Dahua Technology USA’s headquarters. Although it supports a worthy charitable organization, Upscale Resale experiences some of the same problems as for-profit stores — theft. “For the past 10 years we have had absolutely no security system to guard against shoplifting, tag changing, or cash register problems,” said Bunni Ickes, store manager.
Dahua learned about the need for a video surveillance system at Upscale Resale and responded by donating a total security solution to the thrift store. In addition, Ric Foresta, owner of CRB Security Solutions, an authorized Dahua dealer, stepped up by offering to install the system free of charge.
“Dahua has provided a high-caliber system we never could have afforded to add,” Ickes said. “My staff is truly impressed with the quality of the pictures as well as the placement and look of the cameras. We are so grateful to Dahua and look forward to continuing our partnership.”
ID Solutions, a San Diego-based IT solutions provider, deployed the hattrix cloud-based access control solution for centralized security management of a network of locations that spans seven states.
ID Solutions chose the hattrix solution for several multi-state properties, which include commercial rental units. The hattrix solution enables ID Solutions to outsource the systems’ hardware and database, as well as complex and time-consuming tasks such as configuration of devices, system backups and badge entry, to California Commercial Security (CCS), ID Solutions’ San Diego-based systems integrator. Moving some of the system support responsibility to CCS reduced the costs associated with its security systems, including hardware, software and staffing costs while allowing ID Solutions staff to focus on their core IT management expertise.
“Before this project, every building had its own access and intrusion system,” said John Lopez, IT operations manager for ID Solutions. “Using the hattrix platform brings those disparate systems together and now we can manage all alarms, doors and badges from a Web browser, streamlining our operations significantly. It’s fantastic.”
A recently completed upgrade to the video surveillance and security system at the Fond-du-Luth Casino in Duluth, Minn., provided the casino with an advanced system that is now 100 percent IP. Designed and implemented by North American Video (NAV), deployment of the system coincided with renovations to the three-story casino.
American Dynamics Illustra 2 and 5 megapixel cameras were added throughout the gaming floor as well as at entrance/exit areas and parking lots. Illustra 360-deg. cameras installed in the elevators provide additional surveillance. An American Dynamics VideoEdge NVR with built-in intelligence provides the casino with significantly reduced network bandwidth requirements, CPU resources and memory usage. Multicast video streams further reduce the bandwidth required for streaming high-quality video. A software-based virtual matrix eliminated the need for a hardware-based matrix switcher. NAV also integrated the new IP video surveillance system with the casino’s Kantech access control system for added operating efficiencies.
“Close collaboration with NAV’s experienced team ensured that the existing surveillance system was fully functional to ensure regulatory compliance while renovations were taking place and the new integrated IP system was being deployed,” said Bruce Blacketter, surveillance manager, Fond-du-Luth Casino.