National Center for Food Protection and Defense/International Food Information Council Risk Communication

Welcome to Risk Communicator Training for Food Defense Preparedness, Response & Recovery

The National Center for Food Protection and Defense in cooperation with the International Food Information Council is pleased to provide the Risk Communicator Training, a collection of online training resources focusing on the concepts and skills necessary for effective risk communication strategies before, during and following an intentional attack on the food system. The curriculum was developed by the Risk Communication Project at the National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD).  NCFPD is a Department of Homeland Security Center for Excellence located at the University of Minnesota.  Established in 2004, the Center strives to advance the security and safety of the nation's food supply through research, education and outreach. The International Food Information Council has partnered with the NCFPD Risk Communication Project to make these training materials available to food system professionals.

If you would like to receive curriculum updates, notices of training and other NCFPD Risk Communication Project updates, please provide your email address and other contact information here.


Risk Communication Training Modules and Resource Materials

Intended Audience

The training resources are intended for training leaders, communicators and experts from the food system including:

  • Government agency officials, spokespersons, communication staff
  • Food system industries and associations
  • Extension specialists
  • Subject matter experts, scientists, researchers
  • Public health and health care staff

Core Contents

The Risk Communicator training has been designed to be presented in 10 instructional hours or two days. The curriculum may be adapted, abridged or expanded depending on the needs of the learners. The content is organized into 5 instructional modules:

Module 1:  An Introduction to Risk Communication
Module 2:  Food Defense and the Psychology of Terrorism
Module 3:  Message Development and Delivery
Module 4:  Preparedness and Planning
Module 5:  Media Relations

Training Components:

Instructional materials provided include:

1. Trainers Guide:

  • Learner outcomes
  • Content outline with suggested discussion questions, activities, readings
  • Glossary of terms
  • Suggested readings and resources
  • Content contributors and reviewers

2. PowerPoint Slide Sets
3. Participant Handouts and Exercises
4. Food Defense Scenarios (TBD)
5. Risk Communication Preparedness Guide:  Framework for developing a risk communication preparedness plan for your organization (Module 4)

Additional resource materials developed by project collaborations will posted in section following Module 5.  Included in this section is a "Message Clipping File" that contains message excerpts taken from real-life food and public health risk events.

The Training Modules and Additional Instructional Resources sections will be updated quarterly.

For feedback and comments concerning the training content and materials contact:

Tel:  612/624-2614
Fax:  612/624-2157

National Center for Food Protection & Defense
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Campus
925 Delaware St. SE, Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN  55414

NCFPD Risk Communication Project Team

Team Co-leaders:

  • William Hueston
    University of Minnesota
  • Timothy Sellnow
    North Dakota State University

Team Members:

  • William Benoit
    University of Missouri
  • Kristina Boone
    Kansas State University
  • Lisa Brienzo
    University of Minnesota
  • Cory Bryant
    Institute of Food Technologists
  • Paul DeVito
    Saint Joseph’s University
  • Anthony Flood
    International Food Information Council
  • Robert Gravani
    Cornell University
  • Donald Klingborg
    University of California-Davis
  • Maria Lapinski
    Michigan State University
  • Robert Littlefield
    North Dakota State University
  • Robyn Mace
    Michigan State University
  • Dale Moore
    University of California-Davis
  • Julie Novak
    Wayne State University
  • David Ropeik
  • Peter Sandman
  • Donald Schaffner
    Rutgers University
  • Matthew Seeger
    Wayne State University
  • Thomas Tavantzis
    Saint Joseph’s University
  • Robert Ulmer
    University Arkansas-Little Rock
  • Steven Venette
    University of Southern Mississippi