2021 Food Safety Summit to be Held Virtually

Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
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2021 Food Safety Summit to be Held Virtually
For 23 years, the Food Safety Summit has been committed to delivering mission-critical technology and methods to food safety professionals throughout the supply chain.

As the coronavirus continues to pose a public health threat, this year’s Food Safety Summit will be held virtually on May 11-13. COVID-19 will also have an impact on the summit’s educational sessions, as food safety remains a vital topic throughout the supply chain during the pandemic. 

“Following our successful 2020 Virtual Summit this past October, we are once again looking forward to convening the food safety community for in-depth conversations on pressing topics and showcasing exhibitors’ latest products and technology,” said Scott Wolters, chief events officer of Troy-Michigan based BNP Media, which produces the event. “We had hoped we would be able to gather in person this May; however, with the impact of the global pandemic still a real threat, we believe it is safest to bring the industry together virtually. We will be implementing new features on our virtual platform, including video chat, networking opportunities and more, to enhance the attendee and exhibitor experience.”

The virtual expo hall will feature dozens of exhibitors showcasing the newest products and services for the food safety industry. Educational opportunities will continue in the exhibit hall in the Tech Tent and Solutions Stage sections, with informative presentations.

The Educational Advisory Board for the Food Safety Summit has developed a highly relevant program for the 2021 event. The education sessions will focus on the unique challenges of the “new normal” in four topic areas: COVID-19 and Beyond, Regulatory and Legal Issues, Tools and Technology, and Support for Food Safety Professionals.

All in the industry who are helping to keep the food supply safe for consumers can register for the free general sessions and for full access to the summit’s four conference segments:

  • COVID-19 and Beyond will focus on Managing COVID-19 Across the Food Industry, How to Manage Unintended Consequences, Public Expectations of the Food Industry, How to Integrate Food Safety Leadership, and Local Public Health — Navigating Conflicting Information.
  • Regulatory and Legal sessions will focus on Mutual Reliance, The New OSHA — What Food Safety Managers Should Expect, Virtual Auditing, and Retail and New Business — What the Future Should Look Like.
  • Tools and Technology sessions will focus on How Ventilation can Reduce Disease Transmission; Let’s Not Forget Physical, Chemical and Biological Hazards; How Climate Affects the Safety of the Food Supply Chain; and Food Safety Challenges with Plant-Based Foods.
  • Support for Food Safety Leadership,new to this year’s summit, will include How to Take Care of Yourself, Each Other, Employees and Communities; Pivoting the Message to Fit Today’s Concerns; and Mindfulness Training. 

The 2021 Food Safety Summit will also offer three free general sessions, including a keynote presentation on The New Role and Responsibilities of The Food Safety Professional in The COVID-19 World, presented by Craig Wilson, VP, GMM at Issaquah, Washington-based Costco. The 10th Annual Town Hall will feature Association of Food and Drug Officials' Steve Mandernach; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Dr. Robert Tauxe; Paul Kiecker, from U.S. Department of Agriculture; Frank Yiannas, from U.S. Food and Drug Administration; and Sherri McGarry, CDC liaison to FDA for Food Safety. 

The closing day general session Let’s Work the Problem, People — A Guide to Flexible Crisis Planning will discuss how to build and take an incident management plan beyond what's on the page to create a program that's taught, practiced and continuously managed to ensure that your company can handle any incident with flexibility, agility and success. 

The summit will also offer three general workshops on What Does Traceability Mean for Me and My Business, The RoadMap to Food Safety Culture, and State of the Industry — Effect of COVID-19 on Current and Future Management Practices. 

The CDC estimates that each year, 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die.

For 23 years, the Food Safety Summit has been an opportunity for food safety professionals, including processors, distributors, growers, retailers, foodservice operators, regulators and academicians, to share ideas and solutions on how to keep the nation’s food supply safe and learn about the most important issues facing the industryThe in-person event was previously held in Rosemont, Illinois.

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