The Food Standards Agency is to compile a guide containing essential contacts and tips on good practice to help the industry deal with unexpected food scares.

Plans to publish the document were announced after a simulated emergency involving more than 50 manufacturers, retailers, enforcement bodies and government departments.

The exercise last week was based on a scenario of deliberate food contamination and was designed to identify the main problems encountered in responding to a wide-scale incident like the Sudan 1 crisis in 2005.

Participants also looked at ways to improve communication between industry, government departments and the public.

"The initial feedback from the organisations involved was very positive," said an FSA spokeswoman. "The agency sees this exercise as part of an ongoing process of engagement with stakeholders. It is hoped that further exercises and workshops will take place, involving a wider range of stakeholders."

The FSA was still evaluating the results of the exercise, she added.

A separate exercise was staged in July to test whether key individuals and organisations could be contacted quickly in the event of a major out-of-hours food emergency.