new threat and vulnerability book

Detailed practical guidance to help you deliver a robust vulnerability management system for your business

Our amazing book by Adele Adams & Kassy Marsh reviewed & recommended by Professor Chris Elliott – leader of the UK government’s independent review of food systems following the 2013 horsemeat scandal

The issue of food defence is becoming increasingly important within the food industry. The need for a systematic approach to identify and manage threat and vulnerability is accelerating and is becoming incorporated into industry standards, such as BRC Food Safety Version 7. There is much debate surrounding Threat & Vulnerability Assessment within the food industry, accompanied by a certain amount of confusion. It appears that the confusion stems mainly from the desire to separate the topics of Threat & Vulnerability Assessment and to devise separate systems to manage each i.e. TACCP (Threat Assessment and Critical Control Point) and VACCP (Vulnerability Assessment and Critical Control Point).  In fact, these systems should not be separated, but are closely linked and should be assessed and managed under one threat and vulnerability management system.

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) has been supporting a Food Fraud Think Tank, created in 2012, to look at ways in which businesses may strengthen their food safety management systems to protect consumers against harm from food fraud.

In 2014 the GFSI released a white paper detailing its intentions to add two food fraud mitigation steps into their guidance, which is to be issued in 2016. The guidance will include the requirement for businesses to:

  1. Perform a food fraud vulnerability assessment
  2. Implement a control plan

The GFSI state that a food fraud vulnerability assessment should include an evaluation at the appropriate points along the supply chain. They define this as being raw materials, ingredients, products and packaging. The aim being to identify and prioritise vulnerabilities for food fraud.

Although the detail of the guidance will not be clear until it is issued in 2016, the fact that GFSI have included the terms ‘points along the supply chain’ and ‘products’, not just raw materials in their statement, eludes to the fact that it may necessary to carry out a vulnerability assessment from raw material supply into the manufacturing site, through product processing, despatch and perhaps further out to the delivery to the customer or consumer.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) released its new Global Standard for Food Safety in January 2015 and this is the first standard to take and implement some of the guidance from the Food Fraud Think Tank and GFSI.

Adele Adams (Adele Adams Associates Ltd) has teamed up with Kassy Marsh (Techni-K) to produce a definitive guideline which details a simple yet effective system, to meet both process flow driven assessments and the vulnerability assessment of raw materials to meet BRC V7.

In a nutshell


  • Explains step-by-step how to go through the stages of preparing, assessing & continuing your study
  • Defines the scope of the study & explains the types of threat, contamination & attacker
  • Provides new methodology to determine impact, motivation & opportunity
  • Clear scoring system for risks & options for their management
  • Accurate & consistent management technique using our unique decision tree
  • Example documentation & case studies for both a process flow & raw material driven raw material assessment