Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of previews for the 2019 Food Safety Summit presented by Food Safety News.

Early bird registration for the 21st annual Food Safety Summit is available through March 31, offering attendees discounts for certification courses, seminars, panel discussions and access to the trade show floor with its hundreds of booths for industry, academia, governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations.

The summit is scheduled for May 6-9 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, which is a suburb of Chicago. Certificate and certification classes begin on May 6 and continue on May 7. A welcome reception set for May 7 on the trade show floor is designed to launch networking opportunities for the anticipated 2,000 attendees.

Several dynamic initiatives are on the agenda for the 21st annual event. The conference program features sessions led by industry thought leaders; a keynote presentation by Michael Taylor, co-chair of the Stop Foodborne Illness board and former Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine for FDA; eight certificate/certification courses; the 7th Annual Town Hall; and several new feature areas in the exhibit hall. 

During the keynote presentation, Michael Taylor plans to discuss “What Will Drive Food Safety Progress” and offer his insight on what mix of events, consumer expectations, industry leadership, technological innovation and public policy will drive future food safety progress.  

“The world of food safety hasn’t been the same since the Jack in the Box outbreak 25 years ago triggered change in how both industry and government understand their responsibility to prevent foodborne illness,” Taylor said. “The process of change in policy and practices has been gradual but sustained and driven forward by other catalytic outbreaks and contamination incidents — from peanuts and produce to melamine.

“The result is today’s significant alignment among government, industry and consumers on the goal of prevention and the modern practices that can achieve it. Nevertheless, preventable illness and death from foodborne hazards remains an unsolved public health problem and threat to consumer confidence in the food supply. During this presentation, we will discuss how to take food safety to the next level without waiting for tragic events to drive us there.”

The summit this year offer several new and expanded certificate/certification courses. The new courses are the 2 and a half day Live Seafood HACCP Training, Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training, and IA Conducting Vulnerability Assessments Course. The five returning courses are: Professional Food Safety Auditor Training, Certified in Comprehensive Food Safety (CCFS), HACCP Training, Preventive Controls for Human Foods, and Foreign Supplier Verification. These courses will each include breakfast, lunch, and breaks, books/training material and certificate. Multi-Day course registration includes access to the Food Safety Summit education sessions, exhibit hall, and networking functions during non-course hours.

“Each year hundreds of food safety professionals participate in the certificate/certification programs during the Summit because they have access to all of the education, special events and networking opportunities the Summit offers,” said Scott Wolters, director of trade shows and conferences for BNP Media, the event producer.

“We have partnered with NEHA, FSPCA, and AFDO to gives our attendees the opportunity to get the important training they need and become qualified individuals for their organizations. We are also pleased to announce that AFDO will be hosting their North Central Association Meeting during the first two days of the summit.”

In the exhibit hall, many of the world’s leading food safety companies will be showcasing their products and services ranging from sanitation and hygiene to food testing and advanced technology.

Also on the show floor, attendees will gain additional insight from subject matter experts during free 30-minute educational presentations at the Solution Stage and in the Community Hub. The Community Hub will include experts in the four areas of the food safety supply chain including processing/manufacturing; distribution; retail/foodservice; and regulatory. Another new feature on the show floor will be the Community Learning Lounge where attendees will be able to “Ask the Expert” questions on a dozen topics, and the new Tech Tent where technology based solutions providers will demonstrate and discuss their latest innovations.  

For more information, visit www.foodsafetysummit.com. 

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