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Opening Workshop on Root Cause, Keynote Presentation on Balancing Risk, and Dynamic Exhibit Hall, Highlight the 25th Annual Food Safety Summit

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ROSEMONT, IL MAY 11, 2023 - Day two of the 25th Annual Food Safety Summit began with an engaging keynote presentation featuring leaders from Cultivate, OSI Group, Wawa, Inc., and Maple Leaf Foods who talked about how to balance risk for the safety of consumers, team members, and the environment, followed by a dozen education sessions and networking in the exhibit hall. The event is taking place through Thursday, May 11 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL with the Conference Sessions beginning at 8:00 am and Thursday.  To access the conference program visit  Below are highlights from the first two days of the Summit and the schedule of the events for today. 

Stacy Atchison, Publisher and Adrienne Blume, Editorial Director of Food Safety Magazine presented the Distinguished Service Award to Michael R. Taylor, JD, former Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, FDA and Co-chair, Board of Directors for Stop Foodborne Illness. The award honors dedicated food safety professionals for their collective work in promoting and advancing science-based solutions for food safety issues. 

The 2023 Food Safety Summit keynote presentation, which took place on Wednesday morning, focused on a conversation with modern, forward-thinking executives on the topic of balancing risks for the safety of consumers, team members, and the environment. Panelists included Michael Eckhardt, Senior Vice President of Chief Legal and Risk Officer and Secretary at Wawa, Inc.; Randy Huffman, Ph.D. Chief Food Safety and Sustainability Officer at Maple Leaf Foods; and David McDonald, President and CEO of OSI Group. The session was moderated by Lone Jespersen, Ph.D., Principal of Cultivate. 

The panelists discussed how successful food companies manage risks that sometimes compete for investments and leadership attention, including learning how to partner with colleagues from human safety, sustainability, and animal welfare to improve food safety performance and deepen your company’s food safety culture. The executives also shared specific challenges and wins from their respective organizations, along with the cultural solutions that help them successfully manage risk. 

The 2023 Food Safety Summit started off great with the interactive, informative "Got Root Cause?" workshop. Industry and regulatory experts discussed the importance and implementation of root cause analysis, and attendees applied their learnings by collaborating with their peers to get to the bottom of a food safety incident scenario. The panel included Deb Kane from J&J Snacks, Tim Jackson with FDA, Natalie Dyenson, MPH with Dole Food Company, Angie Siemens with Cargill, John Butts with FoodSafetybyDesign, Tim King with Quality Matters, Brendan Niemira, PhD with USDA, and Robert Prevendar with Yum! Brands. 

During The Food Safety Summit Gives Back evening networking event Stacy Atchison, Publisher of Food Safety Magazine, producers of the Food Safety Summit presented Mitzi Baum, CEO, Stop Foodborne Illness with a check for $5,100 from donations that were collected by sponsors and attendees. The money donated to Stop Foodborne Illness will support the organization’s vision of “A World Without Foodborne Illness” and their mission to be the voice of people affected by foodborne illness”, by collaborating with partners in academia, the food industry, and government to prevent foodborne illness. Stop advocates for effective food safety policy and facilitates culture change to increase food safety. 

The sprawling exhibit hall features more than 150 vendors showcasing products and services including Gold Sponsor Purell; Silver Sponsor InstantRecall; and Bronze Sponsors QAD/Redzone, PathSpot and CrunchTime. The Exhibit Hall will be open today from 10:30 – 2:30pm. 

Highlights for Thursday, May 11th include:

  • Morning Educational Sessions:
  • Social Media in Food Safety - Friend or Foe?
  • The Rise of Cannabis in the Food Industry
  • Challenges Related to PFAS in Packaging
  • Understanding Residual Risk
  • Town Hall: Hear from the industry’s top regulators and agency leaders from FDA, USDA, AFDO, and CDC who will share key updates, data, and statistics from their organizations with the audience and then participate in an interactive Q&A session with the audience and each other. 
  • Exhibit Hall Open with lunch served 10:30am - 2:30pm 
  • Afternoon Educational Sessions
  • Food Safety Culture: What is Really Going on in Today's Leading Restaurant, Grocery and Convenience Store Brands?
  • Measure What You Treasure: Assessing Food Safety Culture and Its Impact 
  • Reducing Food Loss and Waste (FLW): Understanding How Food Donation, Supply Chain, and Other Initiatives can Impact Communities. 
  • Foundational Imperatives - Sanitary Design in Retail and Restaurant Facilities
  • Closing Session: Legal Insights to Sharpen Your Food Safety Focus - and Stay out of the Courtroom! 

 Six sessions from the Food Safety Summit were live streamed, recorded and available on demand for one year. These insightful sessions give food safety professionals the opportunity to view, interact with industry professionals, and download valuable content. The six sessions include three workshops: Got Root Cause, Recent Advancements in Sanitation, How Companies can Establish a Robust and Compliant Traceability Program; as well as three general sessions including the Keynote Presentation on Risk Culture, The Town Hall Q&A with FDA, CDC, AFDO and USDA, and the Closing Session focused on Legal Insights. 

 The Food Safety Summit is taking place from May 8-11, 2023 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL.  The Food Safety Summit is owned and produced by Food Safety Magazine ( and BNP Media (, 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. 

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 For more information, contact:

Amy Riemer, Media Relations Representative

978-502-4895 (cell)

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