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Food Safety Considerations for Innovative Nutrition Solutions

Food Safety Considerations for Innovative Nutrition Solutions

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By


Failure to provide safe and affordable food to the worlds ever-growing population has disastrous consequences. Food scientists have a responsibility to improve and use science-based tools for addressing risk and to and advise food handlers and manufacturers with best-practice recommendations. With collaboration from production agriculture, food processors, State and Federal agencies, and consumers, it is critical to implement science-based strategies that address food safety which have been evaluated for effectiveness in controlling and/or eliminating hazards. Food safety concerns of the future are expected to undergo parallel evolution as priorities shift to finding enough food. This conference will seek to address those issues through the thoughts and predictions of internationally acclaimed experts as we prepare for the food safety issues of the future.

*Reception to follow.

Learn more about an FDA Food Safety Challenge here.

Registration Pricing

 By 10/23/2014After 10/23/2014Onsite
Student/Postdoc Member$15$30$55
Nonmember (Academia)$40$70$100
Nonmember (Corporate)$75$100$125
Nonmember (Non-profit)$40$70$100
Nonmember (Student / Postdoc / Fellow)$20$40$70


Presented by

  • NYAS
  • Sackler


* Presentation titles and times are subject to change.

November 6, 2014

8:30 AM

Registration and Breakfast

9:00 AM

Opening Remarks
Amy Beaudreault, PhD, Associate Director, The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science

9:15 AM

Keynote 1: Global Trends in Food Safety
Frank Yiannas, Walmart Food Safety and Health, Walmart Stores Inc.

9:50 AM

Keynote 2: Assuring the Safety of Food: Understanding Risks
Robert E. Brackett, PhD, Institutes for Food Safety and Health, Illinois Institute of Technology

10:25 AM

Networking Coffee Break

Session 1: The Economic, Social, and Policy Aspects of Food Safety

11:00 AM

Economics of Public and Private Incentives to Control Foodborne Pathogens
Tanya Roberts, PhD, Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention

11:30 AM

Increased Food Costs and Perceptions Related to Safety: Valuing Acute Foodborne Illness
Victoria Salin, PhD, Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University

12:00 PM

Why Food Safety Requirements Should Be Science-based
William H. Sperber, PhD, The Friendly Microbiologist LLC

12:30 PM

Who is Responsible for Food Safety?
Dane Bernard, Bold Bear Food Safety

1:00 PM


Session 2: Production and Post-harvest Technology for Safe Food

2:00 PM

Managing Food Safety Risks in Produce
Linda J. Harris, PhD, Department of Food Science and Technology, Western Center for Food Safety, University of California, Davis

2:30 PM

Managing Food Safety Risks in Foods of Animal Origin
Manpreet Singh, PhD, Department of Food and Science, Purdue University

3:00 PM

Food Safety Implications for Low Moisture Food
Jeffrey M. Farber, PhD, Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Health Canada

3:30 PM

Networking Coffee Break

Session 3: Innovative Public Communication for Food Safety and Nutrition

4:00 PM

Food Handling and Consumption Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors of Young Adults and the Impact of a Food Safety Information Campaign
Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, PhD, RD, FAND, Rutgers University

4:15 PM

Communicating Food Safety Risk Reduction Messages
Ben Chapman, PhD, North Carolina State University

4:30 PM

Free App is Perfect Kitchen Companion, Reducing Risk of Food Poisoning
Marjorie Nolan Cohn, MS, RD, CDN, ACSM-HFS, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

4:45 PM

Session 3 Panel

Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, PhD, RD, FAND, Rutgers University
Ben Chapman, PhD, North Carolina State University
Marjorie Nolan Cohn, MS, RD, CDN, ACSM-HFS, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

5:00 PM

Closing Remarks

5:05 PM



Keynote Speakers

Robert E. Brackett, PhD

Illinois Institute of Technology

Robert E. Brackett, PhD, is a Professor of Food Science and Nutrition and currently serves as Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Vice President and Director of the Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH). In this capacity, he serves on the IIT administrative leadership team, as well as directs the scientific and educational programs at IFSH. Dr. Brackett has over 30 years of experience in scientific research in industry, government and academia. Dr. Brackett served as Senior Vice President and Chief Science and Regulatory officer for the Washington D.C. based Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), a position he held from 2007 to 2010. Prior to his position at GMA, he held several scientific and policy positions at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FDA CFSAN). Dr. Brackett served as CFSAN Director from 2004-2007, where he provided executive leadership to CFSAN’s development and implementation of programs and policies relative to the composition, quality, safety and labeling of foods, food and color additives, dietary supplements and cosmetics. Earlier in his career, Dr. Brackett held academic positions at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, and the University of Georgia. Dr. Brackett is a fellow of the International Association for Food Protection and American Academy of Microbiology and has been honored with the FDA Award of Merit, the International Association for Food Protection's President’s Appreciation Award, the University of Wisconsin William C. Frazier Food Microbiology Award, and most recently the FDA Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Brackett received his doctorate in food microbiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Frank Yiannas

Walmart Food Safety and Health, Walmart Stores Inc

As Vice President of Food Safety, Frank Yiannas oversees all food safety, as well as other public health functions, for the world's largest food retailer, Wal-Mart, serving over 200 million customers around the world on a weekly basis. Prior to joining Wal-Mart in 2008, Frank was the Director of Safety & Health for the Walt Disney World Company, where he worked for 19 years. In 2008, Frank was given the Collaboration Award by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He is the 2007 recipient of the NSF International Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Food Safety. Frank is also a Past President of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) and a current Board Member of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). He is also an adjunct Professor in the Food Safety Program at Michigan State University. He is the author of the book, Food Safety Culture, Creating a Behavior-based Food Safety Management System, by Springer Scientific. Frank is a Registered Microbiologist with the American Academy of Microbiology. He received his BS in Microbiology from the University of Central Florida and his Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of South Florida.

Scientific Organizing Committee

Gary Acuff, PhD

Texas A&M University

Gary R. Acuff currently holds the title of Professor of Food Microbiology and Director of the Texas A&M Center for Food Safety. He has been a member of the Texas A&M University faculty for 34 years, and in 2001 was designated a Texas AgriLife Research Faculty Fellow for research leadership. Dr. Acuff served as Head of the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M from 2004-2010. He was President of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) from 2007-2008 and was inducted as an IAFP Fellow in 2013. He was named a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology in 2014.

Dr. Acuff obtained his B.S. in biology from Abilene Christian University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in food science and technology, specializing in food microbiology, from Texas A&M University. His research has focused on improving the microbiological quality and safety of red meat in all areas of production and utilization, and most recent activities have centered on the effective use of surrogate bacteria for validation of process control in Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems. Dr. Acuff has authored or co-authored over 90 research publications in scientific journals and numerous chapters in various references and textbooks.

Tim Freier, PhD


Dr. Timothy A. Freier is a food microbiologist with over 20 years of experience in applied food microbiology and food safety.  He is currently the Senior Director, Global Food Safety Innovation at Cargill, and was previously the Director of Educational Services at Silliker Laboratories.  Dr. Freier earned his BA in biology from Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, his M.S. and PhD in microbiology from Iowa State University, and conducted postdoctoral work at Oregon State University.  He has published several refereed journal articles, book chapters and patents, and has given numerous invited presentations on a variety of food safety-related topics.  He was a co-developer and instructor for the American Meat Institute (AMI) “Advanced Listeria Intervention and Control Workshop” as well as serving on AMI’s Scientific Affairs and Grant Review Committees.  Dr. Freier has served as Chairperson of the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA) Microbiological Safety Committee, GMA’s Task Force on the Control of Salmonella in Low-Moisture Foods, and the International Association for Food Protection’s Meat and Poultry Professional Development Group. He is a member of the Sackler Institute’s Technology and Innovation in Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Working Group, the ISO Working Group “Guidelines for Conducting Challenge Tests” and has served two terms on the U.S. National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods.

Girish Ganjyal, PhD

Washington State University

Dr. Girish Ganjyal is a faculty in the School of Food Science at the Washington State University (WSU). Girish received his PhD form the University of Nebraska- Lincoln (UNL) in Food Processing. After graduating from UNL, he worked as a Principal Scientist at MGP Ingredients, Inc. in the areas of protein and starch modifications and extrusion processing. Later he worked at PepsiCo in their Advanced Research Team on extrusion and frying processes, before joining WSU. Girish has over 9 years of industry experience in food ingredients, process technologies and food product development. Girish currently offers extension and research services for food companies of all sizes and types through the WSU Food Processing extension and research programs. Girish is based in Pullman, WA.

Michael Morrissey, PhD

Oregon State University

Dr. Michael T. Morrissey is a Professor of Food Science and Technology at Oregon State University (OSU) and is currently the Director of the OSU Food Innovation Center in Portland, OR. He was previously Director of the OSU Seafood Laboratory from 1990 to 2009. The Food Innovation Center is part of the College of Agriculture Experiment Stations and is unique in its urban location and its mission to promote agri-businesses and start-up food companies. He has published more than 95 articles in food safety, seafood quality, product development, fish species identification and by-product utilization. He has been invited as a scientific lecturer by Fundacion-Chile, the National Fisheries Institute of Peru, the Japanese Society of Fisheries Science, and other countries and served as a member of the external Advisory Board for SEAFOODplus, a multidisciplinary project involving 17 European countries. Dr. Morrissey has received the OSU Oldfield-Jackman Team Award (1996) for Pacific whiting research, the Earl P. McPhee Award (1999) for his contributions to seafood science and the Briskey Award for Faculty Excellence from the College of Agricultural Sciences at OSU (2004). He was elected an Institute of Food Technology (IFT) Fellow in 2003.

Prabhu Pingali, PhD

Cornell University

Prabhu Pingali is a Professor in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University, with a joint appointment in the Division of Nutritional Sciences, and the Founding Director of the Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative (TCi). Prior to joining Cornell in June 2013, he was the Deputy Director, Agricultural Development Division of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, based in Seattle, Washington, from 2008–May 2013. Pingali was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences as a Foreign Fellow in May 2007, a Fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA) in 2006, and a Fellow of the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE) in 2009. He served as the President of IAAE from 2003–2006, and was named the 2010 Outstanding Alumnus of North Carolina State University. He has received several international awards for his work, including the Research Discovery Award from the AAEA.

Pingali has over three decades of experience working with some of the leading international agricultural development organizations as a research economist, development practitioner and senior manager. He was the Director of the Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations from 2002–2007, and the Director of the Economics Program at CIMMYT, Mexico, from 1996–2002. Prior to joining CIMMYT, he worked at the International Rice Research Institute at Los Banos, Philippines, from 1987 to 1996 as an Agricultural Economist, and at the World Bank's Agriculture and Rural Development Department from 1982–1987 as an economist.

Professor Pingali has written 10 books and over 100 referred journal articles and book chapters on food policy.

Mandana Arabi, MD, PhD

Executive Director, The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science

Dr. Arabi is a Medical Doctor with a PhD in Nutrition Sciences from Cornell University. She has worked for more than 15 years in public health nutrition, first as a nutrition technical adviser with the Ministry of Health and the World Bank in Iran, and later as a child nutrition adviser with UNICEF Headquarters in New York. She is an expert in international nutrition and has facilitated nutrition programming in more than 15 countries dealing with the double burden of over- and under-nutrition. She has been a co-author on various global guidance documents including the UNICEF Infant and Young Child Programming Guide and the WHO Indicators for Infant and Young Child Feeding. As the Founding Executive Director of The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science at the New York Academy of Sciences, she is leading a global initiative to develop a research agenda for nutrition science, build partnerships across sectors to stimulate scientific research, and to advance implementation of the research outcomes towards better policy and program development.

Amy Beaudreault, PhD

Associate Director, The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science

Dr. Beaudreault has more than 10 years’ experience in strategic communication, quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, and program development, outreach, and evaluation. She has played an integral part in many teams and has seen research develop from proposal to publication. Dr. Beaudreault managed Ohio State University Extension agricultural and safety health programs, several U.S. Federal contracts (including contracts for the Department of Education and the Nuclear Regulatory Agency), and used her public relations background while working in the research communication department at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH. She holds a PhD in Agricultural Education and Extension, an MS in Agricultural Communication, and a graduate certificate in survey research from The Ohio State University. Her research can be found in such journals as the Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health, Journal of Extension, and Journal of Food Products Marketing.


Dane Bernard

Bold Bear Food Safety

Dane has over 40 years’ experience in the area of food safety and quality. Until his retirement, he was Vice President of Food Safety and Quality Assurance at Keystone Foods, a manufacturer of meat and poultry products. He received his B.S. in Agriculture from Purdue University and a Masters degree in food science from the University of Maryland. He has authored/co-authored over 70 technical articles and has been an invited expert to seven international consultations sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and/or the World Health Organization (WHO) dealing with food safety related topics. He also served as a member of the US National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods and has served as an industry advisor to the U.S. delegation of the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene. Mr. Bernard was a founding board member of “Safe Supply of Affordable Food Everywhere” (SSAFE), a non-profit NGO dedicated to building infrastructure for self-sufficiency in food production and processing for developing countries.

Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, PhD, RD, FAND

Rutgers University

Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, PhD, RD, FAND, is Professor of Nutrition/Extension Specialist in the Nutritional Sciences Department and Charter Fellow of the Institute of Food, Nutrition, and Health at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Dr. Byrd-Bredbenner’s research focuses on elucidating the role of cognitive and environmental factors on food nutrition behaviors and health outcomes, and developing recommendations for nutrition communications and health promotion interventions. She has authored numerous nutrition books, including the college level textbook Wardlaw’s Perspectives in Nutrition, 9th Edition (© 2013); middle school textbook Adventures in Food and Nutrition, 4th Edition (© 2012); computer software packages, including FoodWorks (© 2014); and theory-driven, behaviorally focused nutrition curricula. She has published over 150 articles in journals, magazines, and newsletters. In addition, she has presented over 200 research papers at professional meetings. Currently, she is leading the innovative obesity prevention program HomeStyles targeted at helping parents of preschool children make simple changes to their home environment and lifestyle practices. She recently directed two major food safety social marketing campaigns: Ask Before You Eat/Know Before You Serve food allergy campaign targeted at restaurateurs, school nurses, and parents and Food Safety for Young Adults. In addition, she was a co-Investigator for the Ninja Kitchen and Don’t Be Gross food safety education interventions for middle schoolers. Her research has been funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Food Safety Initiative, New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services, and Canned Food Alliance. Dr. Byrd-Bredbenner served on the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease Expert Panel for the development of Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy. She has received teaching awards from the American Dietetic Association, Society for Nutrition Education, and U.S. Department of Agriculture. She also was a Fellow of the United Nations, World Health Organization at the WHO Collaborating Center for Nutrition Education, University of Athens, Greece. She completed her undergraduate work at Florida State University and received her doctorate from Pennsylvania State University.

Benjamin Chapman, PhD

North Carolina State University

Dr. Ben Chapman is an associate professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.

Marjorie Nolan Cohn, MS, RD, CDN, ACSM-HFS

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Marjorie Nolan Cohn is a Registered Dietitian, National Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, two times published author, speaker, and experienced nutrition and fitness counselor. She has widespread experience in the health and wellness industry, specializing in eating disorders, weight loss counseling, and personal training/group fitness. Marjorie is co-author of “Overcoming Binge Eating for DUMMIES” for the popular Wiley series, published in September 2013, and author of “The Belly Fat Fix: Taming Ghrelin—the Hunger Hormone—for Quick, Healthy Weight Loss” published by Rodale in February 2013. Marjorie holds a Masters Degree in Food and Nutrition Science. She is based in New York City where she is licensed to practice nutrition counseling, and personal training. She earned her personal training certification through the American College of Sports Medicine. Marjorie owns a private consulting business in New York City.

Jeff Farber, PhD

Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Health Canada

Dr. Jeff Farber is currently the Director of the Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Food Directorate, in the Health Products and Food Branch of Health Canada, where he leads a group of about 60 people in both the research and policy areas on a wide range of issues dealing with microbial food safety. He holds an Adjunct Professor position with the University of Ottawa in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology. His interests and expertise focus on foodborne pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes, Cronobacter spp., molecular characterization of foodborne pathogens, as well as the safety and control of ready-to-eat foods.

Dr. Farber currently serves on the advisory Board of the Center for Produce Safety in the USA. Dr. Farber has over 150 publications, including a number of book chapters and has edited four books. He also has extensive editorial experience, having been the Editor of the International Journal of Food Microbiology for many years, and is currently the scientific editor for IAFP Report.

Dr. Farber is extremely well-versed in both the risk assessment and policy areas, and has played a key role in developing the microbial food safety policy approaches that are currently in place in the Food Directorate, Health Canada. Dr. Farber has extensive experience working at the international level with FAO/WHO, and recently spent a number of months working with FAO in Rome on a wide variety of topical microbial food safety issues. Dr. Farber is currently the alternate Codex Canadian head of delegation for the Committee on Food Hygiene. In addition, he is the Past-President of the International Association for Food Protection, co-Chairman of the Canadian Listeriosis Reference Service, and a member and Treasurer of the ICMSF. Dr. Farber was recently awarded the Prime Minister of Canada's Outstanding Achievement Award of the Public Service of Canada, only the second person ever to receive this award in Health Canada. In addition, last year, he received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, and this year he was honored by being inducted as a Fellow of the International Association for Food Protection.

Linda J. Harris, PhD

Department of Food Science and Technology, Western Center for Food Safety, University of California

Dr. Harris oversees a research program on the microbial food safety of fresh fruits and vegetables and tree nuts. Her laboratory has developed and validated microbiological methods to study pathogens in a variety of foods and has evaluated the behavior of Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes on fruits, vegetables and tree nuts under different storage and processing conditions. Her laboratory has evaluated antimicrobial treatments including sanitizers and thermal and non-thermal processes for their efficacy in reducing microbial populations in food systems. These data have been used to develop quantitative microbial risk assessments and implementation of new food safety policies and practices. Dr. Harris is actively involved with the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP) and was awarded the IAFP Educator Award and Frozen Food Foundation Research Award in 2004 and 2010, respectively. In 2013 she was elected to the IAFP Executive Board as Secretary and will serve as President of the association beginning in August 2016. Dr. Harris has served two terms on the National Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Criteria for Foods. In 2013-2014 Dr. Harris was on sabbatical leave at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Tanya Roberts, PhD

Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention

At the University of Washington, I was introduced to economics and Benefit/Cost Analysis (B/CA) and found micro-economic theory and its applications very useful. I was fascinated by the intersection of public and private policy. After conducting a Benefit/Cost Analysis (B/CA) of meat and poultry inspection at the Economic Research Service, USDA, I focused on food safety research and policy with an emphasis on what the public sector did best and what the private sector did best. Economic incentives for businesses play a key role in sending signals to improve private food safety performance. Much of my research has focused on the public health protection benefits of preventing acute foodborne illness and their long-term health outcomes. In addition, I have researched food safety data availability from farm to fork, risk assessment and setting pathogen priorities, and innovations to improve pathogen control in food products. Collaborations with researchers in academia and the public and private sectors have given me a broad overview of food safety policy. Currently, I am Chair of the Board of Directors with the Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention, a consumer advocacy nonprofit.

Victoria Salin, PhD

Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University

Victoria Salin is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University specializing in agribusiness management and finance. Salin is Co-Director of the Agribusiness, Food, & Consumer Economics Research Center and leads research and outreach projects of the Center relating to food safety, traceability, financial markets, and strategic management. In 2013 Salin was appointed Chair of the Intercollegiate Faculty of Agribusiness and Director of the Master of Agribusiness program.

Salin serves on the Executive Board of the International Food & Agribusiness Management, as well as the Scientific Advisory Council of the World Food Logistics Organization. Salin is a past-chair of the Food Safety & Nutrition Section of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association.

Salin grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and graduated from Miami University in Ohio, with a degree in political science and history. She then completed a Master of Arts from the University of Virginia in government and foreign affairs. In Washington she was an editor in private industry and with the Economic Research Service. She also served as an international trade analyst at the U.S. International Trade Commission. Salin received her Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1996, with specialties in agribusiness finance and international trade.

Manpreet Singh, PhD

Department of Food and Science, Purdue University

Dr. Manpreet Singh is an associate professor of Food Safety in the Department of Food Science at Purdue University. Dr. Singh earned his Doctorate in Food Science and Technology from Iowa State University. Prior to moving to Purdue University, Manpreet worked in the capacity of Assistant Professor of Food Safety and Microbiology in the Department of Poultry Science at Auburn University, AL. He was an Associate Professor of Food Safety and Microbiology since 2011 prior to joining the Food Science Department at Purdue University. Dr. Singh’s research interests include Pre- and post-harvest Food Safety and the impact of poultry and meat processing on safety of foods; Development and validation of novel intervention strategies to control foodborne pathogens in production and processing environments (specifically in meat and poultry); prevalence and persistence of foodborne pathogens in animal production and processing environments. Dr. Singh has authored published 22 peer-reviewed journal articles and over 75 abstracts and presentations in the area of safety of foods from animal origin. Currently, his research program focuses on understanding prevalence, persistence, and antibiotic resistance of pathogens in meat and poultry and stress responses of pathogens.

William Sperber, PhD

The Friendly Microbiologist LLC

Raised in rural Wisconsin on his grandparents' farms and in his parents' grocery store, Bill seemed a good fit for a career in food microbiology. He earned all of his degrees during the 1960s at the University of Wisconsin with majors in microbiology, zoology, chemistry, and a minor in biochemistry. For 43 years he held research and leadership positions with Best Foods, Pillsbury, and Cargill, typically as Director of Microbiology and Food Safety. A pioneer in the advancement of the HACCP system of food safety management, about half his time was spent with hundreds of food processing plants on four continents. It was in these plants that he became known as "the friendly microbiologist," solving myriad problems in real time, usually without organizational or regulatory interference. In his spare time with these companies he advocated the use of solar boxes for cooking food and pasteurizing water in developing countries, served as Secretariat for Safe Supply of Affordable Food Everywhere, and mentored middle school students. "Retired" since 2012, Bill continues a modest amount of professional activities, but prefers to read, write, bike, travel, listen to classical music, and work on nature restoration projects with his wife, Renate.


Keynote: Global Trends in Food Safety
Frank Yiannas, Walmart Food Safety and Health, Walmart Stores Inc

Never before in history has the responsibility to provide safe and affordable food to so many rested on the shoulders of so few And never before in history, have the consequences for not doing so been greater. It is difficult to overstate the difference in our food system today compared to just a century ago, when many of our food safety approaches were first being developed. At the dawn of the 20th century, a majority of consumers worldwide were still living in a pre-industrialized era, living off the land,  with most people still involved with food  production in some way, shape, or form. Fast forward a mere hundred years and the transformation that has occurred in food production is nothing short of amazing. Today, the way we get our food from farm to fork, the food system, has evolved into an increasingly complex network interdependent on many businesses, stakeholders, and individuals. Although there is no question that the emergence of today’s modern food system has provided consumers with a more diverse food supply and convenient source of prepared, economical, and ready-to-eat meals, these trends have resulted in both benefits and additional risks. This session will provide an overview of global food safety trends, emerging food system issues, and the actions needed to ensure consumers worldwide have access to an abundant supply of safe, affordable, and sustainable food.

Assuring the Safety of Food: Understanding Risks
Robert E. Brackett, PhD, Institutes for Food Safety and Health, Illinois Institute of Technology

The concept of risk has become central to food safety discussions in recent years.  One routinely hears reference to the term “risk-based” in the context of identifying what food facilities should be inspected and at frequency, food testing strategies, and product and ingredient sourcing.  Despite this common usage, however, there is not a wide understanding of exactly what “risk” entails in the context of food safety, nor the other factors that must be considered when one is making decisions based on risk.  Discussions on food safety risk assessments often focus only on the mechanics of how to actually conduct a risk assessment but ignore the broader context of a risk assessment and how it will inform decisions.  This process of focusing on the larger context is sometimes described as risk characterization. Risk characterization often involves asking and considering a variety of questions that help frame the food safety issue that one is trying to solve.  These questions could include: what risk needs to be addressed?  What science, or sciences, will be used to provide the data to be used in the analysis? Does economic analysis or the social sciences have a legitimate role in the analysis?  Thoughtful risk characterization could reveal potential unintended consequences of decisions based on the risk analysis, and perhaps inform risk assessors of other potential confounding factors that need to be considered.  Risk assessment is fundamental toward improving food safety but must evolve to include broader considerations if it is to maximize benefits to the public.

Session 1: The Economics, Social, and Policy Aspects of Food Safety

The Economics of Public and Private Incentives to Control Foodborne Pathogens
Tanya Roberts, PhD, Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention 

Private market incentives for food safety are relatively weak because of the difficulty linking human illness to the causative pathogen and the food company.  Food safety information is improving with new test and surveillance methods as well as new public and private control initiatives.  Better supply chain control systems are being invented and used from farm to fork.  Recent food safety innovations have been spurred by stringent standards demanded by large buyers—domestic and overseas—and by regulatory agencies.  However, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year 47.8 million Americans become ill and 3,000 die from acute foodborne illnesses.  CDC acknowledges, but does not estimate, the number of long-term health outcomes (LTHOs) caused by foodborne pathogens.  Economists have estimated that the LTHOs cost society more than acute illness for several important foodborne pathogens.  While new regulatory programs at FDA and USDA are improving economic incentives, the basis problem of linking illness to companies has not been addressed with modern technology.  The cornerstones of such a system are required pathogen tests from farm to fork, strict pathogen performance standards that require improvement from year to year, required mandatory reporting of legal liability cases involving foodborne pathogens, better funding of epidemiologic research identifying and enumerating LTHOs, and creating an integrated nationwide database to link pathogens to specific food products and to the companies that supply these contaminated foods.  This linkage will give food companies the incentives they need to further improve their pathogen control systems.

Increased Food Costs and Perceptions Related to Safety: Valuing Acute Foodborne Illness
Victoria Salin, PhD, Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas, A&M University

The food system offers consumers choice among varieties, sizes, flavors, and preparations of foods, at different price points. Research demonstrates that there is also a wide range of perceptions of consumers and producers regarding the value and costs of avoiding foodborne illness. The cycles in the markets that drive the cost of basic commodities provide incentives about food waste and care in production processes, although no direct connection between commodity costs and foodborne illness risk has been investigated. The linkages between cost of food and its safety differ across market segments as the lower-income and food insecure populations face different challenges. This is particularly the case in countries where government institutions are not present to provide a baseline level of oversight in food protection.  For example, food safety remains an overriding concern throughout China, following the high profile food scares involving seafood, infant formula, cooking oil, and rice. In China, consumers will absorb higher costs of food in exchange for a perception of safer foods. Within the USA, the cost-safety tradeoff is complex, as the perception of food safety is generally high, partly due to well-established government oversight and high standards among businesses supplying foods. However, the strategic positioning of brands has been shown to enable companies to recover from a foodborne illness outbreak. And, there are interactions between costs of production and safety programs relating to co-packing, organic production, and harvest of fresh produce which point out the complex interactions in cost and value in avoiding foodborne illness.

Why Food Safety Requirements Should be Science-Based
William Sperber, PhD, The Friendly Microbiologist, LLC

If food safety requirements are not science-based, things will go wrong.  It is not easy to apply science in food safety rules today. The general public, along with some of its educated members, is easily confused about science, extending even to their understanding and opinions about food safety.  Evolution and climate change deniers foster skepticism not only about those topics, but also about environmental protection, immunization, chlorination, pasteurization, irradiation of foods, and food safety in general. Food safety specialists, along with other scientists are confronted by public skepticism. Developed for 30 years by the food industry, the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system of food safety management was codified as a global standard by Codex Alimentarius in 1992.  The National Research Council’s “Green Book” urged U. S. regulators to mandate the use of HACCP, to use HACCP audit procedures in place of inspections, and to not apply microbiological criteria to raw foods.  USDA and FDA ignored these recommendations.  Rather, they adopted counterproductive rules that confused and hindered progress in food safety. Criticisms or questions about the rules are deflected by claims that they are science-based or HACCP-based.  They are neither. The food industry’s attention to science also sometimes falters; mislabeling, economic adulteration, and even criminal actions can occur. 

Who is Responsible for Food Safety?
Dane Bernard, Bold Bear Food Safety

While it is tempting to answer the question by saying “Food Safety is a shared responsibility” this is a significant oversimplification of the current system.  There are many overlaps in responsibility in the food safety area especially as we look at the legal responsibilities divided between State and Federal agencies as well as municipalities.  Production agriculture, food processors and, consumers also share responsibility for food safety.  To these three broad categories, we can add influencers as a fourth category.  The main function of the government agencies is to provide a regulatory framework that outlines performance expectations for all segments of the food industry and to provide uniform oversight and verification of compliance.  Industry for its part should assist to develop meaningful and practical standards.  Industry also has an obligation to maintain internal programs that assure conformance to standards and consumer expectations as well as developing next level control measures for food safety risks.  Despite the control measures currently in place there are hazards that remain in the food supply and consumers need to be aware of these and to stay informed on measures they should take to minimize risks.  Today’s “Influencers” as a group have become significant and important in the food safety discussion.  Boundaries, expectations, limitations and overlaps between these groups are often obscure and in the authors view, set a rich pallet for discussion.

Session 2: Production and Post-harvest Technology for Safe Food

Managing Food Safety Risks in Foods of Animal Origin
Manpreet Singh, PhD, Department of Food Science, Purdue University

Current strategies to address food safety issues in foods from animal origin are critical; yet need to be evaluated for their effectiveness in controlling and/ or eliminating the hazards. Intervention technologies and practices need to be robust and effective throughout the production continuum from the farm to the consumer to ensure food safety. With the increasing diversity in the nations’ population and the ever so increasing working families, time for food preparation is decreasing, hence, generating a need to focus on safety of convenient foods. In addition to this there are approximately 1 million restaurant locations in the United States that account for $683 billion in sales. Although, no direct correlation to where pathogens are acquired, about 41% of the foodborne outbreaks can be attributed to foods from animal source, not accounting for protein sources from aquatic animals. Spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms are associated with food animals and unless interventions are applied during production, processing, retail, and food preparation along with appropriate controls during distribution, foodborne illnesses are inevitable. Good agricultural practices on the farm along with vigilant veterinary monitoring, good manufacturing practices in the processing plants, and adequate food preparation are designed and implemented to prevent, reduce, or eliminate the food safety risks. Such practices in addition to consumer education are evidence of efforts to enhance food safety and avoid foodborne illnesses from foods of animal origin.

Food Safety Implications for Low Moisture Food
Jeffrey M. Farber, PhD, Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Health Canada

Low-moisture foods (LMF) can be defined as foods that are naturally low in moisture or are produced from higher moisture foods through drying or dehydration processes. These foods generally have a long shelf-life because of their low water activity, and are mainly shelf-stable. Some major food categories which are considered as LMF include spices and dried herbs, nuts and nut products, dried fruits and vegetables, cereals and grains, as well as confections and snacks. In general, LMF have been assumed to be safe products, in that they do not support the growth of bacterial pathogens. However, bacterial pathogens introduced in LMF via contaminated incoming ingredients or cross-contamination during processing, have been shown to survive for extended periods of time in these products. As a result, this assumption of safety has been challenged in recent years by the occurrence of a number of outbreaks and recalls associated with contaminated LMF in several countries. In recognition of this, there has been a global acknowledgement of the need to better understand and control the microbiological hazards associated with LMF. As one example, the Codex Alimentarius Commission recently agreed that a Codex Code of Hygienic Practice for Low Moisture Foods should be developed. This talk will include an overview of the LMF area, covering surveillance, outbreaks, control, as well as recent developments at the international level.

Session 3: Innovative Public Communication for Food Safety and Nutrition

Food Handling and Consumption Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors of Young Adults and the Impact of a Food Safety Information Campaign
Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, PhD, RD, FAND, Rutgers University

Reaching young adults with effective food safety (FS) messaging is important for protecting their current health and that of future children and others for whom many will become caregivers. Results from validated, reliable scales indicated FS knowledge needs; young adults (n=4343) had limited knowledge of cross-contamination prevention procedures, safe times/temperatures for cooking/storing foods, groups at greatest risk for foodborne disease (FBD), foods that increase risk of FBD, and sources of FBD pathogens (60% mean score). FS beliefs tended to be somewhat positive, with importance of cleanliness/sanitation being most positive. Confidence in ability to handle food safely was good. Young adults reported low intakes of foods associated with increased FBD risk. Self-reported food handling practices were poor (mean=45%), which was corroborated by direct observation of a subset’s (n=153) food preparation practices (mean=50%) and home kitchens audits (mean=64%). Observations revealed least compliance with safe cooking temperature and handwashing recommendations (mean=25% and 29%, respectively) and greatest compliance with separate/cross-contamination prevention recommendations (mean=67%). Overall home kitchen audit scores were low (mean=64%); audits revealed fairly clean kitchens and safe dry food storage, however mean refrigerator temperatures exceeded recommendations. In focus groups, young adults (n=53) indicated they wanted FS messaging to feel custom-made for them, be short and simple, use a serious but light-hearted tone, and be delivered in fun, convenient ways. A FS information campaign personalized to young adults’ needs and wants that was implemented on 8 university campuses increased FS knowledge, stage of change for safe food handling, and reported handwashing behaviors.

Communicating Food Safety Risk Reduction Messages
Ben Chapman, PhD, North Carolina State University

With an estimated 48 million foodborne illnesses in the U.S. annually, food safety is a societal issue. While microbiology and epidemiology provide tremendous insight into disease acquisition mechanisms and describing the methods for control, risk management decisions often lie in the hands of the food handler. Whether amateur (volunteers, in the home kitchen) or professional (on farms, in processing plants, in commercial kitchens) food handlers are the front lines of food safety. It is the food safety world's responsibility to ensure that food handlers, and those who oversee them, are armed with the most current, evidence-based information and practical tools to address risks. Research on health and related behaviors has suggested that individuals make rational decisions about such behaviors when they are aware of, and have some knowledge about, the risks associated with particular actions. Traditional risk communication channels such as brochures, public service announcements and posters are being supplemented with engaging discussions online through a variety of social media fora. By investigating and fostering the combination of food safety, communication, psychology and risk analysis the field of communicating food safety risk reduction messages has progressed. Combining personal experiences with safe food-handling information can create effective food safety messages. The use of stories and verbal narratives in message delivery has also been demonstrated as being more effective in transferring information than the use of prescriptive messages?or numerical statistics alone.

Free App is Perfect Kitchen Companion, Reducing Risk of Food Poisoning
Marjorie Nolan Cohn, MS, RDN, CDN, ACSM-HFS, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Your risk of food poisoning can be dramatically reduced by safely preparing food at home, yet 48 million Americans (1 in 6) are sickened by food poisoning each year. That’s why the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics teamed up with ConAgra Foods to create the Home Food Safety program, a public awareness campaign that provides simple solutions for safely and easily handling food at home. While properly handling food can reduce the risk of food poisoning, a 2011 Home Food Safety report found that more consumer knowledge was needed for safely cooking and storing foods. The Consumer Knowledge of Food Safety Practices report found that only 20% of Americans use a food thermometer to make sure food has reached a safe minimum internal temperature, and only 44% could correctly identify the cooking temperature for ground beef. When it came to the shelf life of foods, only 59% reported reading food labels. Based on these findings, the Home Food Safety program launched the free Is My Food Safe? mobile app to serve as an easily accessible guide for consumers. The app includes safe internal cooking temperatures for meats and other foods, a guide to shelf life of common foods, whether shelf stable, refrigerated or frozen and a quiz to test food safety knowledge. By providing the Is My Food Safe? app as the perfect kitchen companion, the Academy hopes to equip Americans with the information they need to reduce their risk of food poisoning.
*Additional abstracts coming soon.

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