Great success at IAFP 2014

Posted: 20 August 2014 | International Association for Food Protection | No comments yet

New Food was in attendance at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the International Association for Food Protection, in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA on 3-6 August 2014…

IAFP Color logo

New Food was in attendance at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA on 3-6 August 2014.

The event was a great success with more than 2,800 attendees from six continents taking part. In fact 13 per cent of attendees came from outside of North America. The total registered attendance numbers, along with 172 exhibitors and more than 900 presentations, contributed to another record-breaking year for this meeting, which has earned worldwide recognition as the leading food safety conference.

Committee Meeting

More than two dozen Committee and Professional Development Group meetings were held on Sunday 3 August

This year’s theme was ‘Engage. Advance. Accelerate. Moving Forward at Today’s Pace’, and it set the tone for the entire conference, tying into the legendary Indianapolis 500 Speedway located in the ‘Circle City’. Participants, who chose to attend one of the three Pre-Meeting Workshops on Saturday 2 August, got a head start to take advantage of an extra day of food safety-related education. The workshops included: Addressing the Challenges of Adopting Molecular Methods in Food Safety Laboratories; Advanced Cleaning Technology for Food Processing Equipment; and Validating Pasteurisation Processes for Low-Water Activity Products.

Saturday evening’s Welcome Reception gave those arriving early the chance to catch up with old friends and make new connections. IAFP President Don Schaffner took a few moments to greet the attendees and encouraged everyone to spread their insight into IAFP 2014 with their colleagues and co-workers who were unable to attend.

Sunday 3 August was filled with more than two dozen Committee and Professional Development Group (PDG) meetings. IAFP PDGs are open to anyone interested in topics such as Applied Laboratory Methods; Food Chemical Hazards and Food Allergy; Food Law; HACCP Utilisation and Food Safety Systems; Meat and Poultry; and a variety of other food safety-related areas. These Committees and PDGs allow attendees the opportunities to share their knowledge and expertise to further enhance the efforts of IAFP.

Sunday evening officially started IAFP 2014 with the Opening Session. Four recipients of the Fellow Award, six Travel Award recipients and 16 recipients of the Student Travel Scholarship Award were honoured for their outstanding efforts related to food safety. This year, IAFP was pleased to also include in its programme the presentation for the Peanut Proud Student Scholarship, sponsored by Peanut Proud, and awarded to a U.S. graduate student in the field of food microbiology. The Ivan Parkin Lecture, featuring attorney and keynote speaker William (Bill) Marler, followed the awards portion of the evening. His eye-opening lecture ‘20 Years Later, Where Were We, Where are We and Where are We Going?’ provided a two-decade update on food safety, beginning with the 1993 E. coli bacterial outbreak throughout four U.S. states from contaminated hamburger patties sold at a popular fast food restaurant chain. The outbreak sickened more than 700 consumers and led to four deaths. Mr. Marler’s presentation specifically covered the life-threatening effects from one nine-year-old who miraculously survived after contracting haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

More than 900 presentations, including 52 symposia, 15 roundtable sessions, 132 technical presentations, and over 500 poster presentations, took place over the next three days. Diverse topics included: Debate: Current Perspectives in Food Safety; Impact of Produce Safety Rules for Sprout Growers; Modernising Government Food Control Systems: New Tools and Core Elements; The Changing World of Scientific Publication; Confronting Food Allergen Trends; Virus Detection in Foods: Advancements and Applications; Sanitation, Antimicrobials; Public and Private Food Safety Research Funding: Where Should the Money Go?; and Pathogenic Lethality Characteristics of Cheese Made from Unpasteurised Milk.

As an official end to the educational part of the conference meetings, Wednesday afternoon’s Closing Session featured the John H. Silliker Lecture. Dr. Leon Gorris, Director for Regulatory Affairs in North Asia for Unilever R&D Shanghai, China, presented ‘Bringing Science-based Risk Analysis to Practice to Further Improve Food Safety’. His presentation focused on ensuring food safety in practice and on the application of risk analysis to further improve food safety.

The Awards Banquet brought IAFP 2014 to an appropriate close on Wednesday evening. Each year, this event honours outstanding food safety professionals for their contributions over the past year – and throughout some Members’ lifetimes and careers. Six students also received Developing Scientist Awards for their research presented during the conference.

IAFP 2015 will take place July 25–28, 2015 (Saturday–Tuesday) in Portland, Oregon. New Food will once again be in attendance and we hope to see many of you there.

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