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Amit Kheradia
Amit Kheradia
Education and Technical Support Manager

IAFP 2022 Focused on Food Safety in the City of Bridges

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Steel City, hosted the IAFP 2022 Conference from July 31st to August 3rd. Around 3,000 food safety professionals from across the globe, representing regulatory, academia, industry, and advocacy, assembled in solidarity to advance the best-in-class science and technology developments on food safety and sanitation. Despite the ongoing challenges of the ensuing Covid-19 pandemic and Russo-Ukrainian War, a great sense of optimism was felt among professional development groups, exhibitors, session presenters, and the audience-at-large on the future of food safety and its essential role in improving global health and economy.

The Ivan Parkin Lecture by Dr. Lucia Anelich, a renowned consultant, aptly set the tone for the conference with her “Out of Africa” theme. She passionately believes that Africa, as one of our world’s greatest continents, must not be left behind in the quest for food security and safety, especially during these trying times. As a culmination of her team’s efforts, in June 2021, a continental food safety agency representing the African nations was established. The sessions that followed were as compelling and equally thought-provoking. For instance, our very own Deb Smith, Vikan’s global hygiene expert, was a key part of the “Food Safety by Design” symposium that principally focused on how food sites can effectively strive to meet the new GFSI Hygienic Design requirements. Other key sessions on food hygiene and sanitation expectations covered:

  • Best practices for replacing, restoring, or retiring food equipment
  • Environmental monitoring programs for low-moisture foods and fresh-cut produce
  • The impact of data-driven sanitation chemistry selection against microbial biofilms
  • The importance of proper cleaning prior to environmental surface sanitization and disinfection
  • Assessing food safety in controlled environment agriculture systems for fresh produce production

Frank Yiannas, FDA deputy commissioner of Food Safety & Response, celebrated the second anniversary of the launch of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety blueprint, with a key thought: “Better food safety begins and ends with better data.” Sandra Eskin, FSIS-USDA undersecretary for food safety, announced her agency’s key action to declare Salmonella an adulterant in breaded and stuffed raw chicken products. In a similar vein, Remco and Vikan proudly presented a poster regarding the study of food hygiene and sanitation-related Journal of Food Protection (JFP) articles from 2017-2022. This poster session was well-received by academia, regulators, and the industry audiences, considering its importance in helping food professionals develop Salmonella control and other food sanitation programs. In addition, IAFP announced that JFP, a leading publication since 1937, will be published as a fully open access journal with Elsevier beginning January 2023.

The conference, as is customary, ended with the John H. Silliker Lecture. This year’s was given by Dr. Katherine Swanson, a professional microbiologist, who provided valuable insights on the “power for diverse perspectives for effective food safety management” and gave the clarion call to all food safety professionals, students, and audience-at-large: “Go forth. Make a difference; the world needs safer food.” The next IAFP Conference in 2023 will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, in the beautiful city of Toronto in Canada, from July 16-19th, 2023.

Remco and Vikan, as leading manufacturer and supplier of FDA-compliant, color-coded, and durable cleaning and material handling tools for food facilities and other hygiene-sensitive environments, are proud to have consistently participated as a gold sustaining member and exhibitor at the conference. For more information about our products and services, contact us.

About IAFP: The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) is a member-based association of more than 4,500 food safety professionals committed to Advancing Food Safety Worldwide® by providing food safety professionals with a forum to exchange information on protecting the food supply. More information is available at foodprotection.org.

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