PHOENIX — The International Association for Food Protection’s (IAFP’s) annual meeting opened Sunday in here with the Ivan Parkin Lecture, which is traditional. But IAFP 2021 will be remembered for getting back on the world stage with its biggest event after missing a year because of the pandemic.   

Officially it’s a hybrid, with an in-person conference at the Phoenix Convention  Center and virtually online open to anyone in the world.

When IAFP  Executive David Tharp and his Executive Board last winter decided to put on a full-blown conference, it stirred a little controversy from some who feared the pandemic had more punch than it did against the unleashed vaccines.

But with confidence, IAFP began selling conference and housing registrations in February.

And Sunday IAFP 2021 was on track with a full-blown program live from Phoenix.

And from Dr. Robert B. “Bob” Gravani, Professor Emeritus of Food Safety at Cornell University,  attendees at the opening of IAFP 2021 got an upbeat message that focused on people. Of factors, businesses must consider, Gravina said “personnel is often the one that may not receive much attention as the others .”

“Employees who perform their tasks regularly, routinely,  capably, knowledgeably, and proficiently-each and every time are what makes the culture of much-leading business,” Professor Gravani said in prepared remarks.

In their welcome message, the IAFP Executive Board spoke about the  role of food safety in  an “interconnected world.”

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