Food Safety Summit May 6-9, 2025
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Food Safety Summit's "Got Root Cause?" Workshop to Demystify RCA Process

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Simply stated, root-cause analysis (RCA) is a problem-solving method used to identify the underlying cause or causes of a problem or issue, in order to identify appropriate solutions and resolve issues in a permanent manner. Getting to the root cause is a cost-effective approach to management and operations in any organization. Identifying the root cause allows for implementation of effective corrective and preventive actions to avoid reoccurrence of issues and is a crucial step in managing risks.  

Preventing reoccurrence typically means successfully "getting to the root cause" of a problem or issue; however, despite its importance, many people still view RCA as a complex and confusing process. In this workshop, we will demystify the process of RCA by breaking it down into simple, easy-to-understand steps. We will also shed light on the regulatory expectations for the investigative process, examine the due diligence needed for investigations, and provide insight on best practices for successful implementation used within industry. 

Whether you are a novice or an expert on root cause, we are asking you to join us on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, as we kick off the first workshop of the 2023 Food Safety Summit, "Got Root Cause?" The Summit will be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. This in-depth, standalone workshop promises to be both educational and interactive, and we have organized the following subject matter experts to lead the discussion:  

  • Tim Jackson (Senior Science Advisor, FDA)
  • Tim King (Founder, Quality Matters LLC) 
  • Angie Siemens (Vice President, Food Safety, Quality, and Regulatory, Cargill) 
  • John N. Butts (Principal, Food Safety By Design LLC) 
  • Natalie Dyenson (Vice President, Food Safety and Quality, Dole plc) 
  • Deb Kane (Vice President, Food Safety, Quality, EHSS, and Regulatory, J&J Snack Foods Corporation). 

We will review why it is critical to get to the core root cause of problems, utilizing such tools as the "Five Whys" or "fishbone diagrams," and our experts will provide tips on when and how to use such tools. We will discuss the essential information needed to launch an investigation, who to involve in the investigative process, what type of data should be reviewed, and how to use existing data collections to cast a wide net and avoid bias in the formulation of hypotheses. Attendees will learn how to organize all inputs and data, and the resulting monitoring activities needed to verify effective corrective and preventive actions.  

The panel session will also include engaging moderators Brendan Niemira (Research Leader, USDA-ARS) and Robert Prevendar (Director of Global Food Safety and Quality Assurance, Yum! Brands). The moderators will guide attendees through interactive group activities, which will provide the opportunity to practice with the demonstrated tools and apply learnings from the workshop alongside fellow colleagues during a simulated case study exercise. This iterative learning technique will offer a unique opportunity for a one-of-a-kind, hands-on learning experience you will not want to miss! 

If you want to network with colleagues in the industry, learn about new tools and techniques, or just refresh your root-cause analysis skills, this workshop is the place to be. Visit the Food Safety Summit site to Register Now

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