Mitigating dissemination of bioterrorism agents in Canadian food distribution systems


  1. Delaquis, P.
  2. Yanofsky, N.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Centre for Security Science, Ottawa ON (CAN);Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa ON (CAN)
A systems-based approach combining the capacity to capture, store, manage and analyze data in a Geographical Information System (GIS), predictive microbiology and risk modeling was applied in the development of tools for the identification of vulnerabilities and the measurement of risks associated with contamination of the Canadian distribution system with microbiological threat agents. The approach was validated through a detailed examination of the Canadian ready-to-eat lettuce sector. Relevant data was collected and integrated with ArcGIS, and a simulation model developed with Arena™ event simulation software was designed to predict the fate of contaminated lettuce during storage and shipping, to identify areas at risk as time progresses, and to estimate the population affected by the events. The simulation model incorporates mathematical equations that predicts the fate microbiological threats and accommodates shipping delays and temperature profiles at each stage to calculate growth, survival, or die-off in the packaged lettuce during storage and shipping, until the point of sale at retail. A user interface was designed to dynamically display the predicted risk across the Canadian distribution system. The simulation tool has been termed the Canadian GIS-based Risk Assessment, Simulation and Planning (CanGRASP) tool for food safety. A scenario involving contamination of lettuce with E. coli O157:H7 is presented to show how geographic zones affected by a contamination ev
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2014-C126 — Contract Report
Date of publication
01 Apr 2014
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

Permanent link

Document 1 of 1

Date modified: