Over 1,400 food safety professionals representing the leading foodservice and retail establishments, manufacturers and processors, distributors, regulators, and academicians gathered last week for The 21st Annual Food Safety Summit, in Rosemont, IL. This leading industry event, designed to meet the educational and informational needs of the entire food industry, also attracted a virtual audience of more than 400 food safety professionals, and 135 exhibiting companies. During the four-day event, food safety professionals participated in interactive sessions, heard from industry and government leaders, found new innovations and solutions on the show floor and networked at several events.

"As Mike Taylor stated in his keynote address, we should not have to wait for another food safety crisis to implement modern practices to prevent foodborne illness, and that was a big focus of this annual gathering of industry and government professionals," said Scott Wolters, Chief Event Officers for BNP Media, Producers of the Food Safety Summit. "We thank our Educational Advisory Board, our exhibitors, attendees, speakers, and press, who came out to share, network and learn about the solutions they need to help keep America's food supply safe."

Highlights of the Summit, included:

  • The event kicked off on Monday, May 6th with eight successful certificate/certification programs including Preventive Control for Human Food, Foreign Supplier Verification, Professional Food Safety Auditor Training, Seafood HACCP, HACCP Training, Certified in Comprehensive Food Safety, Produce Safety and IA Conducting Vulnerability Assessments. In addition, the North Central Association of Food and Drug Officials held their annual meeting.
  • Michael Taylor, former Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and current board co-chair of STOP Foodborne Illness discussed the alignment of government and industry during his keynote presentation which was broadcast live from the event to a virtual audience of more than 400 industry professionals and is available on-demand on the event website at this link.
  • There were two prestigious industry awards presented during the Summit. Congratulations to Joe Corby, Senior Advisor of AFDO, for receiving the NSF Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence from Robert Prevendar, Global Managing Director, NSF International. Preceding the Town Hall, the 2019 Sani Awards were presented. The Leadership in Food Safety Award was given to Cindy Jiang of McDonalds; The Exceptional Food Safety Education and/or Training Program Implementation Award was given to The Cheesecake Factory; and the Outstanding Food Safety Program Innovation Award was given to Al Baroudi from the Cheesecake Factory.
  • The expo hall featured three new areas, including the Community Hub, sponsored by Purell, which was designed for attendees to meet with subject matter experts from the Summit speaker faculty; the Tech Tent, where standing room only crowds listened about the latest software and hardware available for food safety professionals to use; and the Learning Lounge where expert's moderated discussion about several very important topics, including food allergens, cannabis, testing and sampling, certificate courses, paperless solution and management commitment.
  • The education program began with a dynamic opening session where industry leaders Shawn Stevens, Esq., Food Industry Counsel; James Marsden, Nectarteck; Angie Ames, Kwik Trip; Lone Jespersen, Cultivate Food Safety; Oscar Garrison, United Egg Producers; and Robert McNaney, Padilla shared their experiences on preparing for, managing and surviving a high profile food safety crisis.
  • Over 200 people attended the Partners with a Common Purpose (PwCP) afternoon workshop and heard from industry and government speakers including Dionne Crawford, McDonalds, Eric Moore, Testo, Laurie Farmer, FDA, Natalie Adam, GA Dept. of Ag., Mick Miklos, National Restaurant Association , Randy Treadwell, Washington State Dept. of Ag., Tara Paster, Paster Training, Joe Corby, AFDO and Steve Mandernach, AFDO.
  • The sprawling exhibit hall featured more than 135 vendors showcasing products and services including Platinum Sponsor Sani Professional, Gold Sponsor Purell, Bronze Sponsor Alchemy and Solution Stage Sponsors bioMerieux, Lubriplate, FoodLogiQ, TraQtion, NSF, Eurofins, ClorDiSys Systems, Rubber Export Promotion Council, Compliance Cops, Siemens, Rentokil Steritech, FoodChain ID and Mettler Toledo.
  • During the 8th Annual Town Hall AFDO's Steve Mandernach, CDC's Dr. Robert Tauxe, USDA's Paul Keicker, and FDA's Frank Yiannas gave an overview of progress that has been made over the past year and then took questions from the audience. The Town Hall was moderated by Gary Ades, President of G&L Consulting and Chairman of the Summit's Educational Advisory Board.
  • The Summit concluded with a dynamic interactive panel discussion on what is keeping food safety professional up and night. Joan Menke-Schaenzer, Van Drunen Farms/ FutureCeuticals moderated the panel which included Shawn Stevens, Food Industry Council, LLC; Thuy Vu, Hammer Enterprises Integrated Solutions, LLC; Steven Mandernach, AFDO; Donna Schaffner, Rutgers University; Will Daniels, IEH, Inc.; and Dane Bernard, Bold Bear Food Safety.

Plans are already being made for the 22nd Annual Food Safety Summit which will again be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL from Monday, May 4 through Thursday, May 7, 2020. For more information, on sponsorship or exhibiting opportunities contact Kim Hansen at hansenk@bnpmedia.com. For 2020 event information and updates visit www.foodsafetysummit.com and for year-round food safety news, updates and insights covering all food-processing segments visit www.foodsafetystrategies.com

Source: Food Safety Summit