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Actionable information is foundation of Food Safety Summit

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Editor’s note: This is part of a series of articles leading up to the 20th annual Food Safety Summit. The event, from May 7-10 at the Donald Stephens Convention Center in suburban Chicago, includes certification courses; a trade show with exhibitors from industry, academia and government; an extensive list of seminars and panel discussions; and a Town Hall meeting with top officials from the FDA, USDA and CDC. Visit www.foodsafetysummit.com for more details and to register.


In 1998 a small group of food safety industry professionals gathered to discuss, educate, and share ideas, products and services. This meeting was so beneficial and helpful that it was clear that this needed to become an annual conference, and thus, the Food Safety Summit was born.

In the last 20 years, thousands of food safety professionals and solution providers have gathered at the 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. 

The 2oth anniversary Food Safety Summit will kick off May 8 with a focus on the supply chain. A dynamic panel will present the opening session on “Food Safety Case Studies Impact on the Supply Chain: Lessons Learned.” The afternoon will feature four workshops: 

  • How to Get and Maintain Cooperation Between Departments;
  • The Future of Traceability in the Global Supply Chain;
  • How A Company Can Effectively Manage Food Safety Across Its Supply Chain; and
  • Global Regulatory System in the Supply Chain.

Carletta Ooton

Carletta Ooton, vice president for health, safety, sustainability, security and compliance, for Amazon will present “Amazon’s Approach to Innovation and What It Means for Food Safety” on May 9 at 9:15 am. Ooton will discuss Amazon’s unique business model and how they think about innovation first on behalf of their customers. Hear how Amazon is envisioning food safety through data and technology and how they are revolutionizing the future. 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 as well as available for viewing on the Food Safety Summit website following the event.

On May 10 at 9:15 a.m., the Summit will offer its 7th annual Town Hall meeting where attendees will have a chance to interact with the leaders of food safety from the FDA, USDA, CDC and AFDO. Panelists include Dr. Stephen Ostroff, Acting Commissioner of Food and Drugs 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, president of G&L Consulting Group and Chair of the Food Safety Summit Educational Advisory Board.

The Summit will close with a general session on May 10 at 4:15 p.m. with respected leaders in the industry who will present “High-Profile Foodborne Illness Lawsuits: A View from the Inside.” The panelists will include Shawn K. Stevens of Food Industry Counsel LLC and Drew Falkenstein of counsel at Marler Clark LLP.  The session will be moderated by Craig Wilson, vice president and GMM for Costco Wholesale Corp.

The Summit is also offering six certification courses beginning on May 7, including Preventive Controls for Human Foods, FSPCA Foreign Supplier Verification Program Training, HACCP, Seafood HACCP, Professional Food Safety Auditor Training, and new for 2018 Certified in Comprehensive Food Safety (CCFS).  

The exhibit hall will feature more than 175 vendors showcasing products and services for food safety professionals and attendees can interact through the Flash Back Game.  There will also be two Solutions Stages where dozens of vendors will present informative and educational session. New this year to the show floor are The Community Cafes, which are designed around the four segments of the food supply chain and each segment will have subject matter experts from the Summit speaker faculty to facilitate discussions and answer questions.

Registration is live at www.foodsafetysummit.com.

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