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    Fresh Summit Food Safety Solutions Center

    Julia Stewart:

    Hello, this is PMA PR Director Julia Stewart, and welcome back to PMA’s audio blog, “Ask Dr. Bob” with PMA’s Chief Science & Technology Officer Dr. Bob Whitaker. Bob, we’re hoping all our listeners will be joining us when PMA’s 2010 Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition convenes October 15 through 18 in Orlando. In your last post you mentioned the many workshops on food safety that will be presented at Fresh Summit. Will there be other food safety resources there as well?



    Julia, PMA has made food safety an important element of Fresh Summit for many years now, but this year we’re especially excited as we offer a high visibility resource for the topic right on the exposition floor in the form of our Food Safety Solutions Center. Located right on the show floor in booth 201, the center will be a convenient and easy way for many of our attendees to find out the latest developments in the area of food safety.



    So what exactly will the center provide?



    It’s designed to be a one-stop, interactive destination for food safety solutions. It will include educational exhibits, live demonstrations, and videos – all related to food safety technology.  The topics we will cover include packaging, traceability, processing equipment, product testing, water purification and much more. 


    PMA really wants to help industry members get answers to their most critical food safety questions, and this center is one easy way we can accomplish that. It’s being sponsored by Famous Software and we very much appreciate their support and leadership.



    So what kinds of things can visitors to the center expect to learn?



    We’ll be holding live discussions and presentations that will tackle issues such as how investing in food safety can offer ROI to your business. We’ll also cover the latest food safety innovations, considering what products and services can address specific food safety needs.


    The educational sessions we’ll conduct in the center will complement and expand on Fresh Summit’s food safety workshops that we talked about in our last post. I’m excited about the great line-up of topics and experts we have to address some of our industry’s most urgent issues right now. To give you an idea of what we have planned ….


    The session “Pass With Flying Colors: The Value of Product Testing” will be a forum to share ideas and ask those burning questions that sit at the forefront of your mind. What are the problems with sampling either raw or finished products? What are the pitfalls of product testing? If anyone has asked these types of questions, then this session is for them.


    On Sunday, “Threading the Needle: Successfully Navigating Food Safety Audits” is geared to provide answers to the key questions surrounding food safety audits. Participants can use this forum to hear first hand from experts in the industry, and get guidance and advice on topics such as costs and benefits, as well as the limitations associated with audits.


    The session “Don’t be the Weakest Link: Your Role in Traceability” will offer an update on the Produce Traceability Initiative, the value it can offer your company, and help drive the traceability decisions you make for your company today. Some of the questions we will answer include, what are the benefits behind electronic traceability? What is the driving need for industry-wide implementation of traceability measures? This Q&A session is sure to be in high demand as our experts clarify questions surrounding traceability and what it means to individual companies.


    Finally, on Monday, a session called “Experts with Answers: Learn How the Center for Produce Safety is Working for You” will explain the role that CPS is playing in answering industry’s food safety research questions and how you can get involved. We’ll also recap some of the critical research findings that were announced at CPS’s first research symposium in June. (Our listeners will remember from earlier posts that PMA founded CPS with Taylor Farms at the University of Davis back in 2007 to take leadership of industry food safety research, and that I chair the committee that leads its research program. CPS is already making a big difference to our industry.)


    Throughout the show, Industry food safety leaders and PMA experts, including myself, will be on hand in the center to lead all the Q&A sessions. Of course, another value of the center is the informal opportunities it will offer to talk with other industry members about their food safety ideas, concerns and solutions.



    It sounds like the Food Safety Solutions Center will be a great food safety resource, I’m sure our listeners will want to check it out.


    We should note that our food safety programming at Fresh Summit is made possible by the support of PMA members who contribute to our Gold Circle: Campaign for Food Safety. These members demonstrate their food safety leadership by contributing $1,000 each year above and beyond their PMA dues to support our food safety work. Their support underwrites the work of Dr. Bob’s food safety and technology team, our support of the Center for Produce Safety, new educational programs for small and local growers that we’ll talk about here soon. So thanks to our Gold Circle contributors for supporting PMA’s work. If you’d like to join our Gold Circle, you can read more on our website www.pma.com – just type “Gold Circle” into the search box on the home page.


    Listeners, if you have a food safety product or solution, we invite you to become a Food Safety Solutions Center exhibitor, sponsor or advertiser. Contact PMA’s Dot Siegfried by email at dsiegfried@pma.com.


    For more information on registering for Fresh Summit, the Food Safety Solutions Center, or any of the workshops, please log onto our website www.pma.com\freshsummit.


    Until next time, thanks for joining us!






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