Food Safety Summit May 6-9, 2025
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Food Safety Summit

COVID-19 to take center stage at Food Safety Summit in October

COVID-19 to take center stage at Food Safety Summit in October

COVID 19 has changed our world. In the wake of this pandemic, food manufacturers have stood up to the challenge of performing as an essential business. We have shown the world how well the industry attempts to respond to a crisis; working together to maintain a safe work environment for the employee while producing safe food. This pandemic is yet another force in history that has caused the food industry to react and change the way business is done.

The last century has brought significant changes to the food industry and ultimately has forced food safety professionals to move our focus to audit compliance and profits and away from the consumer. Now is the time to change our paradigm and refocus on the consumer and their well-being. During the keynote presentation at the Food Safety Summit, attendees will learn firsthand the influences that have shifted our focus and what some forward-thinking companies are doing to change the way they think about the food we make. 

On Wednesday, October 21, the keynote presentation by Will Daniels, president, Produce Division, IEH Laboratories and Consulting Group will focus on how food safety professionals can leverage the COVID-19 Crisis to refocus their food safety programs for the benefit of the consumer, when he discusses Back to Basics: Consumer Focused Food Safety.  

“The food industry has always risen to a crisis and taken a challenge head on. The result is usually very innovative and sometimes severe to reach the desired outcome. The COVID-19 pandemic response is no different. The food industry has stepped up to the challenge and has developed some novel ways to protect their workforce.  We have all been forced to focus on the human being during this crisis,” said Will Daniels. “We must remember that the food we make goes into the mouths of the people we love and how important it is to have food safety programs that go above and beyond regulation to protect the consumer while still being profitable.”

Some of the key themes Will Daniels will focus on include: the strong relationship between the cook and the consumer and how food safety is key to survival; how the industrialization of food has forced us to focus on costs and market share to compete and stay in business; the impact of how government requires compliance to regulation that is designed to get rules that most everyone can live with, not necessarily the least amount of illness.

During this presentation Daniels will answer such pressing questions as: What if we could use this time of refocus to change the way we think about our food safety programs and focus more on the consumer? Could we change the way our food system is subsidized and focus those dollars to food safety efforts? Can we personalize food safety in ways that makes the senior leadership in a company want to do more?

In addition to this dynamic Keynote Presentation, the Summit’s opening half day workshop will focus on COVID-19: The New Normal for the Food Industry where attendees will hear, learn and discuss first hand with subject matter experts from Epidemiology, Regulatory, Distribution, Manufacturing, Foodservice and Retail what they did to address the Covid-19 Pandemic Crisis for their organizations, customers and consumers. Attendees will hear what worked, what did not work from experts and those on the front lines such as Steve Mandernach, executive director, Association of Food & Drug Officials, Jorge Hernandez, VP, Quality Assurance The Wendy's Company and others.

For the most up to date information on the Keynote, the opening session and all other education sessions at the Food Safety Summit, taking place October 19-22, 2020 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, visit

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