The 18th Annual Food Safety Summit, held this week for the first time in Rosemont, Ill. attracted nearly 1,700 registered food safety professionals, a 12% increase in registered attendees from 2015 and over 200 exhibiting companies, a 20% increase from last year. During the three-day event, held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, food safety professionals discussed the most pressing issues facing the food industry including Listeria, the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, the Integration of the Nation's Food Safety System as well as liability and jail time. The event kicked off on Monday, May 9th with three successful certification programs for Auditor Training, Preventive Controls for Human Foods and Seafood HACCP.
"We thank our Educational Advisory Board who developed a stellar conference program, as well as our sponsors, who helped to support this dynamic conference and all of our exhibitors, speakers and attendees," said Scott Wolters, Director for the Food Safety Summit. "We heard from so many people during the three-day event how important it is to participate in the Food Safety Summit to gather tools for today and make plans for tomorrow."
The event kicked off with three very successful certification programs including Preventive Controls for Human Foods, presented by Donna Schaffner from Rutgers Food Innovation Center; Food Safety Auditor Training presented by Patricia Wester of PA Wester Consulting and Seafood HACCP presented by NEHA. On Tuesday, May 10, conference attendees participated in the 2nd Annual AFDO Integration Forum which was hosted by Joe Corby. In addition, there were three workshops on Process Validation, Pre-Requisite Programs and the Food Safety Professionals Road Map to Success. The Welcome Reception, sponsored by Roka BioScience, offered attendees an opportunity to network with 202 vendors, a 20% increase in companies who showcased specialty products and services designed to help food safety professionals do their job more effectively and efficiently.
Major leaders in the industry presented in the conference program including senior executives from the FDA, McDonald's, Wegman's, and Reser's Foods who shared their insights on the future of the food safety environment during the opening day keynote presentation. The Summit closed with the Hot Topic Session which provided attendees an opportunity to discuss some of the most pressing legal issues facing the industry with Bill Marler, Marler Clark; Jeffrey Steger, US Department of Justice; Shawn Stevens, Food Industry Counsel and Dane Bernard. The session was moderated by Coral Beach, Managing Editor, Food Safety News.
During the 5th Annual Town Hall FDA's Mike Taylor, USDA's David Goldman, AFDO's Joe Corby, and CDC's Robert Tauxe discussed how the agencies are working together on food safety initiatives and exciting new developments such as Whole Genome Sequencing which will have a revolutionary impact on the industry. The Town Hall was moderated by Gary Ades, President of G&L Consulting and Chairman of the Summit Educational Advisory Board who recognized Mike Taylor for his commitment to food safety as he retires from the FDA.
On Wednesday evening attendees enjoyed the Food Safety Summit Gives Back Networking Reception to benefit Feeding America. Chuck Wilson of BNP Media presented Mitzi Baum, Director of Food Safety for Feeding America with a donation of $5,550 to help provide 64,000 meals on behalf of the sponsors, speakers, exhibitors, and attendees. In addition, Sani Professional Food Safety Advisory Council presented the 2016 Sani Awards. R&DE Stanford Dining of Stanford University, located in Stanford, CA, won the award for Outstanding Food Safety Program Innovation; and the Sani Award for Exceptional Food Safety Education and/or Training Program Implementation was presented to Lindsay Westcott Waffle House Inc. of Norcross, GA.
Prior to the Town Hall, Shelly Feist, Partnership for Food Safety, presented the 13th Annual NSF Food Safety Leadership Awards. The 2016 NSF Food Safety Leadership Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to John N. Butts, Ph.D., Vice President, Research, Land O' Frost and President, Food Safety by Design LLC and Purnendu C. Vasavada, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-River Falls (Retired). The 2016 NSF Food Safety Leadership Awards for Training and Education was presented to Judy A. Harrison, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Food Safety Specialist, University of Georgia Dept. of Foods and Nutrition.
On the trade show floor, 202 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 LUBRIPLATE, Sani Professional, ReposiTrak, NAStar, Inc., Roka Bioscience, ComplianceMetrix, Anritsu Infivis Inc., ACO Polymer Products, Art's-Way Scientific, Micreos, WDS Inc., Kestrel Management, and Mettler Toledo.
Plans are already being made for the 2017 Food Safety Summit which will again be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL from Tuesday, May 9 through Thursday, May 11, 2017, with pre-conference certification courses starting on Monday, May 8. In addition, BNP Media will sponsor the 7th Annual Food Safety Summit Resource Center at Pack Expo; November 6-9, 2016 at the McCormick Place Convention Center, Chicago, IL. For more information, on sponsorship or exhibiting opportunities call Chuck Wilson at 630-962-0078 or visit www.foodsafetysummit.com. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Source: Food Safety Summit