Editor’s Note: The QA staff for this year’s IAFP 2022 is on the ground in Pittsburgh. follow us on Twitter For live updates.
Pittsburgh, Pa. Day 2, the first full day of sessions at IAFP 2022, began with morning sessions that included one on hygienic design of food processing facilities and equipment.
In the Food Safety session by Design, Mondelez International’s Dimitri Tvernarakis talked about the inherent cost savings that come from businesses investing in clean design, including improved productivity and efficiency on facility floors and equipment reliability.
Gail Prince, Sage Food Safety Consultants, said in the session, “There is no complacency when it comes to food safety.”
After lunch, the Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Sanra Eskin, Deputy Secretary of Food Safety, Department of Agriculture (USDA), gave attendees an update on what their agencies were doing. been per.
The update, an annual event, began with Eskin’s information that the USDA had announced action to declare salmonella adulterated in breaded and stuffed raw chicken products.
These typically include products sold in the grocery freezer section stuffed with meat, cheese or a vegetable ingredient, such as frozen chicken cordon bleu.
Since 1998, the FSIS and public health partners have investigated 14 salmonella outbreaks potentially linked to these products, which Eskin said often appear to be cooked, but are actually raw.
“We have consistently failed to meet our public health goals to reduce salmonella infections, so it is time for a change,” she said.
Eskin said FSIS is developing a comprehensive strategy that will focus on salmonella control as chickens enter slaughter and processing establishments.
Following Eskin, Yanas used his time to talk about the future of the food industry and some of the challenges it faced.
“These are challenging times in our country and in the world as the food system is facing unprecedented challenges. But with challenges also come opportunities,” he said.
Citing new food products and delivery methods, Yianas said a food revolution is underway, but there is room for improvement in food security through things like data collection and sharing.
“Imagine a future in which all the information we need about food is at our fingertips,” Yiannas said.
In a moment that elicited an uneasy laugh from the crowd, Yanas somewhat rhetorically asked the audience: “Are we winning the battle against foodborne illness?”
To which Eskin, who was still on stage from the Q&A session, shouted: “Not really.”
During the Q&A session, an audience member asked Yanas about his plan to provide consumers with better, more clear safe food management instructions.
“It should be more than a label,” Yanas said. “Consumers don’t pay too much attention to labels. It has to go a long way.”
Another question, in response to Yanas’ mention of the need for better data, someone in the crowd asked is how agencies can influence technology to get involved in food security when it comes to data?
“You name the tech firm, I’m in talks with them,” Yiannas said with an interesting tease.
Afternoon sessions included discussion on using consumer research to inform labeling policy for food products. Aaron Lovely, USDA – FSIS, Lisa A. Shelley, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, and Donna M. Speakers such as Garren, American Frozen Food Institute, Woodbridge, VA, talked about how consumers interact with labels, and how that can help industry and agencies improve them.
Lavalli, in do you remember when Moment, shared a photo of his pager to illustrate a big point about communicating effectively.
“We’ve Just Changed How We Communicate [since the time of pagers],” he said. “There has never been a point in history where we have had more information at our fingertips. So how do you get over that?”
In session Where the Wild Things Are: Foraging for Fungal Food Security, Laura Ziraltowski of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlined recent multi-state outbreaks related to fresh or dried mushrooms, including the Listeria outbreak in 2017-18.
Dr. Florence Wu of Amtech discusses the popularity of foraging and the specialty mushroom industry. Wu said mushroom poisoning leads to about 1,400 emergency hospital visits in the US each year. The poisonous mushroom reminded her of a Taylor Swift song, she quipped: “Dear, I’m a nightmare dressed up as a nightmare.”
“The old mushroom hunters and the bold are mushroom hunters, but the old and bold are not mushroom hunters,” Wu said.
Hold the phone during the session! The Role of Celebrity Chefs and Influencers in Food Safety Messaging, a roundtable weighed in on the pros and cons of food influencers going viral on platforms like TikTok and Instagram from a food safety perspective. Nicole L., professor of nutritional science at East Carolina University. Arnold exemplifies a new, related trend: submerging avocados in a jar of water for months in an attempt to preserve their shelf life. Cheeti Kumar, a chef in Raleigh, NC, said seeing these trends is “like looking at a car wreck.”
Evans of the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Center said the problem with short-form reels on Instagram and TikTok is “of course people don’t have time to include information on food safety.”
Arnold said food safety professionals have to be prepared to take the heat if they call an influencer online from both the influencer and their dedicated fan base.
“They’re taking advantage of misinformation, and they’re making a lot of money,” Arnold said. “And we are a threat to him.”
Talking TikTok trends with food safety, QA advisory board members and frequent contributor Darin Detwiler, stopped by the QA booth in the exhibition hall to talk about the pink sauce viral trend and more. Watch the full interview!