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ProFood Tech Food Safety Series to Target Listeria

Feb 23, 2017

The hunt for Listeria monocytogenes is well underway throughout the food industry, and new technology is giving regulators new pathways to its detection and prevention. How are the regulatory policy and climate shifting with these major changes? The ProFood Tech conference program, led by IDFA, will feature sessions devoted to the current and future fight against Listeria monocytogenes.

ProFood Tech will be held April 4-6 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Featured Sessions

In one session, titled “The War on Listeria,” a team of experts will discuss industry strategies for finding and controlling Listeria monocytogenes in facilities that produce ready-to-eat (RTE) foods. They will also cover the regulatory policies that currently govern RTE foods, as well as those for foods that are intended to be cooked before consuming.

Presenting during the session will be Scott Hood, director of global food safety and regulatory affairs at General Mills, and Mickey Parish, senior advisor at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of the Food and Drug Administration. This session will be held April 6, 10:45-11:30 a.m.

An additional two-part series will cover the use of whole genome sequencing, the next generation of DNA fingerprinting, and its role in identifying strains of pathogens, including Listeria monocytogenes associated with food. “Whole Genome Sequencing Part I” will cover the scientific aspects of the technology, how it is being used and its implications for fighting foodborne illnesses. Tim Freier, division vice president of scientific affairs at Merieux NutriSciences, will lead this session on April 5, 9:45-10:30 a.m.

“Whole Genome Sequencing, Part II” will take a deeper dive into the regulatory impact of the technology and how it can be used in both the public and private sectors. Attendees will explore ways this technology can be used to obtain crucial information about foodborne pathogens beyond genetic relatedness, including drug and sanitizer resistance and pathogenicity.

Marc Allard, FDA research area coordinator for genomics, and Peter Gerner-Smidt, chief of the Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will present the session on April 5, 10:45-11:30 a.m.

Regulations and Food Safety Track

The ProFood Tech conference program includes many other sessions that are part of the Regulations and Food Safety track. These sessions will cover Food Safety Modernization Act implementation, water-testing requirements, additional technologies to fight foodborne illnesses and better ways to communicate with the public about food safety, among other topics.

In addition, three pre-conference workshops will focus on food safety training and recall preparedness strategies:

ProFood Tech is a new trade show and conference that will focus on processing technologies and innovations serving the food and beverage industry. It is powered by PACK EXPO, Anuga and IDFA and will make its debut April 4-6 in Chicago. The dynamic conference program, led by IDFA, will offer more than 50 cross-industry educational sessions. View the full list of sessions here.

The conference program and the pre-conference workshops require separate registration fees. Learn more and register here.

For more information, contact Melissa Lembke, IDFA manager of meetings and educational services, at

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