The International Association for Food Protection is now accepting proposals for symposium, workshop and roundtable presentations for its annual conference and meeting in 2018.

The 2018 event is scheduled for July 8-11 in Salt Lake City. The IAFP Program Committee recently invited association members and other interested individuals to submit proposals and announced Oct. 3 as the deadline.

Symposiums can be 90 minutes, two hours or three hours long, and must emphasize a central theme related to food safety. They typically consist of 30-minute presentations by multiple speakers.

“Presentations of less than 30 minutes will not be allowed,” according to the IAFP request for proposals.

Roundtable discussions should include from four to six panelists. All IAFP roundtable sessions are 90 minutes in length, with each panelist giving a two- to three-minute introduction, followed by time for a discussion that includes audience participation.

No data projectors are provided for roundtable sessions, thus, panelists are not allowed to give visual presentations and should not include slides with their remarks. Roundtable “convenors” cannot be on the panels they moderate, according to IAFP procedures.

Proposals for symposium and roundtable presentations cab be submitted by individuals, groups of individuals, committees or professional development groups (PDGs).

Applicants should note the following submission guidelines:

1. Proposals must be pertinent to IAFP members and PDGs. Priority will be given to proposals that address one or more of the following program areas:

  • Safety and microbial quality of foods, including dairy, meat, poultry, seafood, fresh produce and water);
  • Viruses and parasites, retail food safety, epidemiology and public health;
  • Non-microbiology food safety issues such as food defense, food toxicology, allergens and chemical contaminants;
  • General-applied food safety microbiology, including advances in sanitation, laboratory methods, quality assurance and food safety systems;
  • General-food protection for the future, including risk analysis, emerging pathogens, biotechnology and predictive models;
  • Developments in food safety education; and
  • Other pertinent food protection topics, which may be considered if space is available.

2. In addition to addressing pertinent program areas, proposals accepted for further development should present new, emerging areas and/or address areas not covered in past two years. If a topic has been covered in past two years, proposals must provide new information that warrants another session.

3. Submissions must include titles that clearly convey the topics to be covered. Details should be provided to show that information from speakers in any given presentation will not overlap. Suggested speakers should come from a variety of backgrounds, such as industry, regulatory, academia or the consumer perspective.

4. Special consideration will be given to submissions that:

  • Are directly applicable or provide viable safety options for food manufacturers, including small- to medium-size manufacturers;
  • Bring an international focus or viewpoint from outside North America to the event;
  • Attract or involve students;
  • Attract or involve local affiliate members who would not otherwise attend the annual meeting, such as regional industry concerns such as shellfish issues for Gulf States; and
  • Would attract members of a new PDG or program area that IAFP is trying to develop or encourage.

The IAFP Program Committee’s schedule for reviewing presentation proposals is firm on the Oct. 3 proposal deadline, saying “no late submissions will be accepted.” By Nov. 17 proposals will be declined or accepted for “stage two” review. Final decisions about stage two proposals will be made by March 5.

For people interested in submitting workshop proposals, which can be one or two days in duration, the in-depth sessions will again be scheduled for the Friday and Saturday before the Sunday beginning of annual conference on July 8.

Workshop proposals should have a central theme relating to food safety, according to IAFP guidelines. They should also include active participation from attendees.

“Workshop proposals will be evaluated by the Program Committee for relevance to current science and to association members. Individuals, committees, or professional development groups may prepare proposals. Workshop presentations must follow the IAFP Policy on Commercialism,” according to the deadline notice.

Workshop applicants should note the following submission guidelines:

  • To submit a workshop proposal, complete the online Workshop Proposal submission. The title of the workshop; name, address, phone, and email of the person(s) organizing the workshop; topics for presentation, suggested instructors, affiliations; and description of intended audience to which this topic would be of greatest interest must be included.
  • Instructors will be limited to no more than six for two-day workshops and no more than four for one-day workshops. If organizers are going to give presentations, include their names as instructors.
  • When submitting a proposal, the instructors should be tentatively confirmed. Final confirmation of instructors should take place after acceptance of your workshop proposal. A tentative agenda will also need to be included with the submission.

If applicants have an idea, but are unable to fully develop a workshop, the IAFP Program Committee says such ideas are extremely valuable and are welcome.

“If you have an idea, please contact the IAFP office as soon as possible,” according to the proposal deadline notice.

Anyone interested in submitting a proposal or suggesting a topic can contact Tamara Ford at 800-369-6337 for more information.

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