When someone who’s been in the food auditing industry since before GFS1 says this is the year to attend the annual Food Safety Summit, you know something’s up. logo-food-safety-summit-406“This summit is unique,” said Patricia Wester, owner of PA Wester Consulting and instructor for the Food Safety Auditor Training certification course set for the two days immediately before the summit. “We’ve had three or four years of talking heads while the (Food Safety Modernization Act) rules were in the works. Now we know what they are and now we have the opportunity to get information we can put to work.” The agenda for the Food Safety Summit conference & Expo, set for May 10-12 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, is heavy on topics related to the final rules on produce safety, preventive controls and foreign supplier verifications that were published in 2015 by the Food and Drug Administration. But the run-up to the main event has also been beefed up, said Amy Reimer, summit spokeswoman. She said this year includes an intensified focus on training and certification courses — which include admission to the summit conference and expo. Beginning on May 9, four certification courses will be offered:

  • HACCP Certification Training — Instructors Kara Baldus of Covance Laboratories Inc., Bryan DiMenna of BASF, Kyle Gallo of Chick-Fil-A Inc., Judy Perry of Keurig Green Mountain, Rich Ritota of Food Safety Systems, John Spink of MSU, Clint Stevenson of NC State University, Paul Vijayakumar of University of Kentucky;
  • Preventive Controls for Human Foods — Instructors Kara Baldus of Covance Laboratories Inc., Robert Brackett of the Institute for Food Safety and Health, Joy Nicoll of the Rutgers Food Innovation Center, Rich Ritota of Food Safe Systems, Donna Schaffner of the Rutgers Food Innovation Center, John Spink of MSU, Clint Stevenson of NC State University, Paul Vijayakumar of University of Kentucky, Purnendu Vasavada of the University of Wisconsin;
  • Seafood HACCP — Instructors Doris T. Hicks, Delaware Sea Grant, and Lisa Weddig, National Fisheries Institute; and
  • Food Safety Auditor Training — Instructors Rance Baker, National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), and Patricia Wester, PA Wester Consulting.

The Food Safety Summit is designed to meet the educational and informational needs of the food industry along the entire supply chain including growers, processors, retailers, distributors, foodservice operators, regulators and academia. The three-day event is a comprehensive educational program with presentations by subject matter experts, trainers, regulators and industry peers. Registration is open and the full conference program is now available live at www.foodsafetysummit.com.