The North American Meat Processors Association (NAMP) has announced the first of two Campylobacter workshops in 2012 on March 6 - 8, at Auburn University, just 75 minutes southwest of Atlanta, Ga. Currently, there are new performance standards in place for Campylobacter, which is a major cause of foodborne illness in the U.S.

Because Campylobacter is often associated with poultry, and due to the new USDA performance standards, NAMP has partnered with Auburn University and Texas A&M University to develop a two and a half day workshop that will cover topics including isolation and identification of Campylobacter from poultry samples as well as data analysis and interpretation.

This group successfully conducted the Campylobacter 101 workshop twice in 2011.

Each full day of the workshop will include hands-on laboratory activities to acquaint attendees with current techniques for Campylobacter identification as well as data analysis and interpretation of results. The half day will focus on rapid methods used to identify Campylobacter, specifically PCR methods for detection.

The goal of the workshop is for attendees to gain a working knowledge of current techniques used to identify the pathogen, as well as measure that can be implemented to control it.

NAMP and seven other meat industry associations also announced the mini-conference on “Control of Non-O157 STECs in Beef Processing” on Thursday, March 15, at The Drake Hotel in Chicago, IL, prior to the start of the Meat Industry Management Conference presented by NAMP.

The mini-conference continues NAMP's successful partnership with major industry associations to jointly offer food safety conferences for North American beef processors that have educated hundreds of people over the past several years.

This conference will be especially timely as FSIS released it final determination on declaring six additional strains of E. coli as adulterants just last September, and the implementation date for the policy is currently scheduled for March 5, 2012. Dr. Dan Engeljohn is an invited speaker and his presentation will cover FSIS policy and expectations.

This conference will help beef processors learn the latest information about the new policy, as well as the latest science and the changes being made in the industry to address non-O157 STECs.

The program is scheduled for 12 noon to 6 pm CST, so attendees can arrive at the hotel in the morning of the Mini-Conference and save the cost of another room night.

Featured speakers include:

  • Dr. Barb Masters, Senior Policy Advisor, Olsson Frank Weeda (OFW) Law
  • Brenden McCullough, VP of Technical Services, National Beef Packing Co.
  • Tim Biela, Corporate Food Safety Officer, AFA Foods
  • Dr. Dan Engeljohn, Assistant Administrator, Office of Policy and Program Development, USDA-FSIS (pending final travel approval)
  • Dr. Wendy Warren, Vice-President of Government & Regulatory Affairs, AEGIS Food Testing Laboratories
  • Dr. Jim Marsden, NAMP Senior Science Advisor and Regent‟s Distinguished Professor at Kansas State University.

Program highlights:

  • STEC Policy Overview. The latest information on the FSIS policy, its implementation, and how the meat industry is adapting to the changes (Masters)
  • The Packer Perspective. How the U.S. packing industry is reacting to the change, and how further processors can work with their suppliers for the benefit of their companies and the entire industry. (McCullough)
  • The Processor Perspective. How further processors should adjust their programs to account for the changes in FSIS policy. (Biela)
  • Update on Prevalence and Testing Methods. The latest information on test methods for the "Big 6" and how rapidly improving technologies will help you meet the new rule‟s requirements. (Warren)
  • FSIS Policy and Expectations. The important perspective of the regulators, information and insight as to what processors can expect.(Engeljohn)
  • HACCP Reassessments for Further Processors. Help ensure your HACCP reassessment is completed correctly and that all relevant factors are considered. (Marsden)
  • Special ‘new technologies’ presentations by representatives of major industry suppliers.

For more information about the conferences, go to

Source: NAMP