Attendees to last week's Food Safety Summit had the opportunity to participate in timely workshops, informative sessions and network with 178 vendors who provide products and services to help food safety professionals do their job more effectively and efficiently. Leaders in the industry including FDA's Mike Taylor, USDA's Brian Ronholm, AFDO's Joe Corby and CEO's from Chiquita Brands and Kwik Trip shared their insights and vision at The 16th Annual Summit which took place April 8-10 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

The event kicked off with three pre-certification programs on ServSafe, HACCP, and Seafood HACCP. On Tuesday, April 8th conference attendees participated in four half day workshops on One Health, Pre-Requisite Programs and Traceability.   The afternoon workshop entitled Doing the Right Thing - Meeting Consumer and FSMA Food Safety Expectations featured Roberta Wagner, BS, MS, FDA/CFSAN and Charlotte Christin, JD, LLM, FDA, Ricardo Carvajal, Esq, Human, Phelps and McNamara, Clay Detlefsen. International Dairy Foods Association and Mark Mignogna, Sysco who discussed how the food supply chain should address food safety as well as define the pros and cons of using a regulatory third party audit versus a consultative audit as defined by FDA to address the FSMA FSVP.

The Welcome Reception, which was sponsored by GE Intelligent Platforms attracted 600 attendees who networked and were able to meet with representatives from the Association of Food & Drug Officials (AFDO) six regional affiliate organizations. Joe Corby, the Executive Director of AFDO, said, "The Food Safety Summit gets better and better each year. I've never been to the Summit without learning a few things and I find it very refreshing that all industry stakeholders are here."

The opening keynote featured Ed Lonergan, CEO of Chiquita Brands and Don Zietlow, CEO of Kwik Trip, Inc who shared their passion for food safety and their dedication to the industry. The strong commitment both of these leaders have to their food safety teams had a positive impact on the hundreds of attendees who had the opportunity to engage in a Q&A session. Following the keynote, Scott Wolters of BNP Media presented Mitzi Baum, Director of Food Safety for Feeding America with a donation on behalf of Chiquita Brands and Kwik Trip as a thank you for both CEO's participation. Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief charity, with network members supplying food to more than 25 million Americans each year, is supported by both speakers' organizations.

"We were thrilled to have Mr. Lonergan and Mr. Zietlow present at the Summit and provide a donation to Feeding America. Their passion and support of their food safety professionals was impressive and created a lot of important dialogue throughout the event," said Scott Wolters, Director for the Food Safety Summit. "We thank our Educational Advisory Board who developed a stellar conference program, as well as our sponsors and we look forward to returning to Baltimore, April 28-30, 2015."

On Wednesday evening the 13th Annual Food Quality & Safety Award was presented to Backyard Farms of Madison, Maine for their exceptional contributions to food safety and consumer satisfaction with a positive impact on business results. The event kicked off with a presentation by Sara Mortimore, VP of Product Safety, Quality Assurance & Regulatory Affairs, Land O'Lakes.

On Thursday morning over 500 attendees participated in The 3rd Annual Food Safety Summit Town Hall. Michael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods, FDA, Brian Ronholm, Under Secretary for Food Safety, USDA and Joseph Corby, Executive Director of the Association of Food and Drug Officials answered important questions from the audience about varied topics including FSMA. The Town Hall was moderated by Gary Ades, President of G&L Consulting and Chairman of the Summit Educational Advisory Board.

Prior to the Town Hall, Gina Nicholson, NSF Global Client Director of Retail Food Services, presented the 11th Annual Food Safety Leadership Awards. The 2014 NSF Food Safety Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to William Keene, Ph.D., MPH (posthumous, accepted by William Marler) Senior Epidemiologist, Acute & Communicable Disease Prevention, Oregon Public Health Division. The 2014 NSF Food Safety Leadership Awards for Training and Education were presented to Jason Bashura, MPH, RS Senior Food Defense Analyst, FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (has since moved to PepsiCo) and to Brian Nummer, Ph.D. Extension Food Safety Specialist, Utah State University. NSF International is a global public health and safety organization that provides food safety and quality assurance services across the food supply chain.

On the trade show floor 178 exhibiting companies including Gold Sponsor Roka Bioscience; Silver Sponsor Alchemy Systems and Bronze Sponsor Eurofins met with attendees to showcase their new products and services. Two full days of presentations from exhibitors were offered in the Exhibitor Showcase Theatres, as a chance for attendees to hear from subject matter experts about the newest solutions and technologies in food safety and security. Exhibitor showcase presentations were given by Bunting Magnetics Co., BRC Global Standards, TraceGains, Schneider Electric - Invensys, Junction Solutions, GE Intelligent Platforms, National Environmental Health Association, SAI Global, EMD Millipore, Mettler Toledo, Romer Labs, Eurofins, LUBRIPLATE, and Alchemy Systems.

"I felt energy at the Summit like never before. This event is a perfect opportunity to find out the latest and greatest the industry has to offer. Attendees feel this is a true investment and a time to have access to information that is new and different," says Sharon Wood, the Director of Quality Assurance and Food Safety, H-E-B.

"Not only is the Summit a great place to learn and gain knowledge, but the Summit is one of the best places to network with your colleagues and peers and share best practices, whether that is done socially or whether that is done in sessions," says Mick Miklos, formerly VP of Food Safety & Training for Waffle House. "If you've never been to the Summit you certainly need to come. If you haven't been to the Summit in a while, you need to come back and you need to see what is new and feel the energy and the excitement."

Plans are already being made for the 2015 Food Safety Summit which will be held Tuesday, April 28 through Thursday, April 30, 2015 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD. In addition, BNP Media will sponsor the 5th Annual Food Safety Summit Resource Center at Pack Expo; November 2-5 at McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago. For more information, on sponsorship or exhibiting opportunities call Chuck Wilson at 630-962-0078 or visit

Source: Food Safety Summit