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IAFP Annual Meeting Round Up

Last month July 2022 Novolyze exhibited at and participated in the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) Annual Meeting. During the conference, food safety and quality experts, regulatory, and industry suppliers converged to discuss the most pressing topics of the day.

Once again, the Novolyze team was present at the annual meeting held this year in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You may have talked with Rudy Brook, Marion Policht and Anna Porteus, from our Marketing team, or Jena Roberts, John Bulman, Trevor Brown and Mike Edwards from our sales team or even Emmanuel Onuoha and myself, from the Customer Success and Food Safety and Quality Team. This year, this is the first time after the COVID pandemic that the conference was 100% in person, and the organizer communicated that 80% of the pre-pandemic attendees were present.  

Every year this meeting is the place to be for the latest information on current and emerging food safety issues, the latest science, innovative solutions to new and recurring problems, and the opportunity to network with thousands of food safety professionals from around the globe. Below are our key highlights from the conference.  

The first full day of sessions was marked by the FDA and USDA update. The update kicked off with Sandra Eskin, deputy under secretary for food safety, Department of Agriculture (USDA), announcing action to declare Salmonella an adulterant in breaded and stuffed raw chicken products. She said: “We have consistently failed to meet our public health goals for reducing Salmonella infections, so it’s time for a change.” By declaring Salmonella an adulterant in these products, Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will be able to ensure that highly contaminated products that could make people sick are not sold to consumers. Breaded and stuffed raw chicken products will be considered adulterated when they exceed a very low level of Salmonella contamination and would be subject to regulatory action. FSIS will be proposing to set the limit at 1 colony forming unit (CFU) of Salmonella per gram for these products.  

The second update by Frank Yiannas, deputy commissioner for food policy and response, Food & Drug Administration (FDA), was about the future of the food industry and emphasizing once again the modernization of the food safety. He said: “Better food safety begins and ends with better data. We have a lot of food safety data, it was often kept on paper but now we have these new tools that can bridge the gap between data and converting that into actionable insights.” He also announced the finalization of the FSMA Food Traceability Rules by November 2022.  

Another impactful announcement from FDA was made during a round table on acidified foods by the Associate Director of Research, Glenn Black who officially stated that water is no longer considered as a low acid food in the formulation of Acidified foods. This announcement will change the classification of several products regulated under the 21 CFR Part 114 since the withdrawal of the Guidance in 2015.  

Other interesting topics discussed during this year's sessions included the Recent Developments in Applications of Predictive Tools for Meat and Poultry Products with the overview of predictive microbiology in the food industry and what are the steps to make the tool widely used, and how to use predictive modeling to achieve product quality, and finally a presentation of the USDA Agricultural Research Service's (ARS) Integrated Pathogen Modeling platform.  

To finish, two very interesting sessions were conducted, first the Application of New Technologies for Improved Food Safety with discussion on new tools for risk assessment and environmental monitoring, including how to handle tracking and mapping data; and how virtual monitoring technology for use in auditing and inspections can be used to improve food safety and sustainability. Panelists also talked whether the industry is using these technologies to their fullest extent, and examined limitations to implementing these technologies in the food industry. The second session explored the transition from the use of video to the present needs in IT applications for Training, Monitoring, Auditing and Real-Time Remote Management. The focus of this session was on how current innovations will trend toward common implementations while highlighting benefits, challenges, risks, and philosophical conflicts. 

Next year's IAFP Annual Meeting will be held in Toronto, Canada from July 16 - 19, 2023. We are excited to be exhibiting and participating again next year.

If you missed Novolyze at IAFP and want to talk to us about our smart food safety and quality digitalization solutions, get in touch!

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