May 6, 2019

Food safety industry leaders gather in Chicago for Food Safety Summit

Food Safety SummitSince 1988, thousands of food safety professionals and solution providers have gathered at the Food Safety Summit to share actionable information about processes, procedures and products that can be used to minimize food safety risks and protect their consumers, customers and brands. This year will be no different. For four days, the food safety community will gather to discuss new legislation, developing trends and offer education and solutions about the latest technological advancements.

The 21st annual Food Safety Summit kicked off May 6 in Rosemont, Illinois, offering eight certificate/certification courses including Preventive Controls for Human Foods, FSPCA Foreign Supplier Verification Training, HACCP, Professional Food Safety Auditor Training, Certified in Comprehensive Food Safety (CCFS) and new for this year the IA Conducting Vulnerability Assessment Course, Seafood HACCP and the Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training.

On Tuesday, May 7, the education program begins with a dynamic opening session on How to Prepare for, Manage and Survive a High-Profile Food Safety Crisis. The afternoon will feature four workshops, Partners with a Common Purpose, Getting Back to the Basics, Food Protection: Business Decision-Making for International Acts Including Food Fraud and Food Defense and Foodborne Outbreaks in the News.

Mike Taylor, Senior Fellow at the Meridian Institute; co-chair of the Board of Stop Foodborne Illness; and Former Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, FDA will present “What Will Drive Future Food Safety Progress?” during the keynote address at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, May 8. Taylor will discuss what mix of bad events, consumer expectations, industry leadership, technological innovation and public policy will drive future food safety progress. Can we take food safety to the next level without waiting for tragic events to drive us there? For those who cannot attend in person, the keynote presentation will be broadcast live from the summit to those who wish to view it virtually.

At 9:15 a.m. Thursday, May 10, the summit will also offer its eighth annual Town Hall meeting where attendees will have a chance to interact with the leaders of food safety at the FDA, USDA, CDC and AFDO. Panelists include:

  • Frank Yiannas, Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response for the FDA
  • Paul Kiecker, Acting Administrator for the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), USDA
  • Steve Mandernach, Iowa Department Inspections and Appeals, formerly with AFDO and Dr. Robert Tauxe, Director, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, CDC

The Town Hall will be moderated by Gary Ades, Ph.D., President, G&L Consulting Group and Chair of the Food Safety Summit Educational Advisory Board.

The summit will close with a general session at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at with respected leaders in the industry who will present “What’s keeping Food Safety Professionals up at night? Where do you go for answers?” The moderator will be Joan Menke-Schaenzer, Van Drunen Farms/ FutureCeuticals; and panelists will include Shawn Stevens, Food Industry Council, LLC; Thuy Vu, Hammer Enterprises Integrated Solutions, LLC; Steven Mandernach, AFDO; Donna Schaffner, Rutgers University; Will Daniels, IEH; and Dane Bernard, Bold Bear Food Safety.

These food safety experts will discuss the rules and regulations around CBD, and other pressing questions that come up for food safety professionals, including “Whole Genome Sequencing: What to do if the FDA & USDA say you have an outbreak,” “What to do if you have Listeria monocytogenes in your environment or have a zone 1 positive,” as well as “What to do if your product is put on Import Alert.”

The sprawling exhibit hall will feature more than 125 vendors showcasing products and services for food safety professionals and attendees can interact through the Farm to Fork Game. There will also be the new Tech Tent and Learning Lounge areas, two Solutions Stages where dozens of vendors will present informative and educational session, and the Community Cafes which are designed for attendees to meet with subject matter experts from the Summit speaker faculty.

The Food Safety Summit is taking place from May 6-9, 2019 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.