COVID-19 pushes conference off the in-person stage into virtual realm

COVID-19 pushes conference off the in-person stage into virtual realm
One of the year’s largest food safety conferences is now planned to be a virtual event, according to an announcement from the organizers of the Food Safety Summit.

The event, annually set in the first week of May, was postponed earlier this year because of the coronavirus outbreak. It was rescheduled for Oct. 19-22 in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, IL. Yesterday, however, the organizers said the COVID-19 pandemic offered too many chances for infections at an in-person event.

“Given the continued uncertainty around travel and the importance of health and safety for the entire food safety community, the difficult decision has been made to transition the upcoming in-person Food Safety Summit event in Rosemont, IL, to a fully virtual event Oct. 19-22, 2020,” said Scott Wolters, CEO of BNP Media, producers of the Summit.

The Summit is set to start with a session on “COVID-19: The New Normal for the Food Industry.” The four-day event will offer educational sessions along with presentations from exhibitors in the Solutions Stage and Tech Tent as well as networking with attendees.

The educational portions of the summit are planned to offer four two-hour workshops and 21 one-hour sessions. Four general sessions are on the agends. They include the keynote presentation by Will Daniels, president of produce division, IEH Laboratories and Consulting Group, who will discuss “Back to Basics: Consumer Focused Food Safety.” In addition, the Summit’s annual “Town Hall” discussion with leaders from the FDA, AFDO, CDC and USDA and a general session focused on “Foodborne Illness Outbreak Mock Criminal Trial – A View from the Jury Box” featuring Shawn Stevens, Food Industry Counsel LLC, will be offered.

Daily, from noon to 2:30 p.m. CDT, the virtual exhibit hall will be open.  Attendees will have the opportunity to attend live sessions from the Solutions Stage and hear from technology companies in Tech Tent presentations. From 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. CDT the education and networking will continue. BNP Media is working with virtual events platform Intrado to deliver this learning experience.

Those who wish to only participate in the virtual exhibit hall and the general session each day can attend for free. All current Summit attendee registrations will be moved over to the virtual Food Safety Summit. Event organizers will contact those registered attendees with more information.

The virtual Summit is $299 to attend with the early bird rate, which expires on Aug. 31. Those who pay to attend the summit will have complete access to the entire platform, including virtual exhibit booths, all live and on-demand education sessions, the ability to participate in group discussions and networking events with colleagues and speakers.

Registration is now open at www.foodsafetysummit.com.

The agenda follows:

Monday

9:00am – 12:00pm

S1: COVID-19: The New Normal for the Food Industry (Includes a 2 hour session then 1 hour of moderated breakout groups)

12:00pm – 2:30pm

EXHIBIT HALL OPEN
Tech Tent and Solutions Stage Presentations

2:30pm – 3:30pm

S2: Food Safety Challenges of a Changing World
S3: Difficult to Detect Organisms: Management in the Face of Uncertainty
S4: How to Control Allergens – Bring Your Concerns and Leave with Solutions

3:30pm – 4:30pm

S4: How Hep A Prepared Us for COVID and May Help End this Hep A Outbreak
S5: Novel Processing Technologies – Validation, Application, Regulation
S6: Developing Easy to Implement Food Safety Disaster Plans

4:30pm – 5:30pm

NETWORKING EVENTS
Community Networking: Foodservice/Retail
Community Networking: Processors/Manufacturing


Tuesday

9:00am – 11:00am

S10: What Am I Getting Into? Suppliers & Co-Packers Linked to Food Safety

11:00am – 12:00pm

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Back to Basics: Consumer-Focused Food Safety

12:00pm – 2:30pm

EXHIBIT HALL HOURS
Tech Tent and Solutions Stage Presentations

2:30pm – 3:30pm

S11: Supply Chain Traceability: Collaboration, Momentum and Food Protection
S12: Foodborne Outbreaks in the News
S13: Don’t Be Labeled for Having Bad Labels

3:30pm – 4:30pm

S14:Indoor Farming – Review of the Safety of Hydroponic Products
S15: Risk Communications with Consumers During Outbreaks: A Research-Based Approach
S16: Kick FEAR to the Curb with Knowledge and Best Practices around COVID-19

4:30pm – 5:30pm

NETWORKING EVENTS
Community Networking: Regulatory Challenges with Non-Traditional Food
Community Networking: Fresh to the Industry Professionals


Wednesday

9:00am – 11:00am

S19:Food Fraud Prevention – Introduction, Implementation and Management

11:00am – 12:00pm

TOWN HALL: Q&A with the Top Regulators

12:00pm – 2:30pm

EXHIBIT HALL HOURS
Tech Tent and Solutions Stage Presentations

2:30pm – 3:30pm

S20: Partners with a Common Purpose
S21: Implementation of Preventive Controls for Human Food and other FSMA Rules – Where Are We Today?
S22: Meet the Editors – Discuss Hot Topics

3:30pm – 4:30pm

S23:Part 2 of COVID Session


Thursday

9:00am – 11:00am

S24: Practice Improves Performance – Internal Audits for Food Processors

11:00am – 12:00pm

GENERAL SESSION: Foodborne Illness Outbreak Mock Criminal Trial – A View from the Jury Box

12:00pm – 2:30pm

EXHIBIT HALL HOURS
Tech Tent and Solutions Stage Presentations

2:30pm – 4:30pm

S25: Managing Allergens & Sanitation in Food Processing Facilitiess

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