U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Frank Yiannas joined U.S. Department of Agriculture's Sandra Eskin, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Rob Tauxe and Sherri McGarry, and Association of Food and Drug Official's Steven Mandernach for the Food Safety Summit’s 10th annual Town Hall where they each provided an update from their respective organizations and then answered questions from the audience about the New Era of Smarter Food Safety, the lasting impacts of COVID-19 on the food supply chain, and the importance of technology. 

Frank Yiannas shared his vision for the New Era of Smarter Food Safety and the focus on Tech-Enabled Traceability. He said, “The New Era for FDA is a bridge between Food Safety Modernization Act and Technology—we need to harmonize a universal language of traceability, so we can speak the same language which is critical for tracking events.” FDA is working to break the cycle of recurring outbreaks tied to leafy greens that they believe are a reasonably foreseeable hazard due to the proximity of livestock. 

Sandra Eskin commented, “Everyone has a role in making sure that the food is safe—from the producers, processors, manufacturer, distributors, and the consumers. There is always more we can do.”

Prior to the Town Hall, Hal King, Ph.D., Public Health Innovations, moderated an engaging conversation about developing a Roadmap to Food Safety Culture with John Forsythe, Deloitte Consulting, Conrad Choiniere, Ph.D., Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition FDA, Shawn Stevens, Food Industry Council, and Mary Lynn Walsh, Sysco. The speakers shared that that values, beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes are shared across an organization, and it’s important to implement the three C’s of culture—compassion, commitment, and communication.

In the afternoon, there were six terrific panel discussions, which have all been recorded and archived. The sessions include: What Information to Use, and What to Communicate during the COVID-19 Crisis; How to Effectively Work with Departments in Your Company; The New OSHA: Enforcement Under the Biden Administration—What Food Safety Managers Should Expect; Food Safety Leadership: How to Integrate It into the Business Functions of the Company; Mutual Reliance; and Food Safety Challenges with Plant-Based Foods in Response to Refrigerated Storage, High-Pressure Processing, and Pan Frying.

The Summit continues on Thursday, May 13, from 8 a.m.–10 a.m. CDT with a two-hour workshop entitled What Does Traceability Mean for Me and my Business, featuring a dynamic panel including John Spink, Ph.D., Michigan State University, Andrew Kennedy, FDA, Jennifer McEntire, Ph.D., United Fresh Produce Association, Angela Valadez, Publix Super Markets, James Cascone, Deloitte Consulting LLP, Bryan Hitchcock, the Global Food Traceability Center, The Institute of Food Technologists, and Tammy Switucha, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, with Faye Feldstein, Deloitte Consulting, moderating the session. 

From 10 a.m.–11:30 a.m. CDT, Gary Ades, Ph.D., president of G&L Consulting and chair of the Food Safety Summit Educational Advisory Board, will moderate a general session on BEYOND COVID: Let’s Work the Problem People—A Guide to Flexible Crisis Planning, featuring Will Daniels, IEH, Mary Lynn Walsh, Sysco, and Glenn Stolowski, HEB. This panel will share the elements of a written program, discuss how to conduct mock drills, and provide tips for leveraging communication and continuous improvement during the process.

The Exhibit Hall will be open from 12:00–2:30 p.m. CDT and feature leading vendors including Gold Sponsor Purell; Silver Sponsors Applied Food Diagnostics, Aptean, and Millipore Sigma; and Bronze Sponsors Elisa Technologies, Zenput, and Pure Global Solutions. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from technology companies in the Tech Tent and attend live sponsored education sessions on the Solutions Stage with informative presentations from Millipore Sigma, Orkin, Hexagon, Intertek Alchemy, FoodLogiQ, Mettler Toledo, Controlant, Perkin Elmer, Inficon, Beekeeper, One Event Technologies, We R Food Safety, Safety Chain, AFCO, IFS, and others. 

For access to the full Food Safety Summit agenda, which will be held through Thursday, May 13 from 8:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m. CDT, visit www.foodsafetysummit.com. To register, click here

The Food Safety Summit is owned and produced by Food Safety Magazine (www.food-safety.com) and BNP Media (www.bnpmedia.com), one of the country's leading business-to-business media companies serving industry professionals across 60+ industries through magazines, custom media, e-newsletters, webinars, events, and market research.