Arlington, VA –The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) convened more than 700 registrants comprised of global research experts, industry professionals and food safety policy leaders today during its inaugural Food Safety Forum. The Food Safety Forum was comprised of various sessions designed to actively engage participants in a discussion on the latest Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) science and how the food industry can utilize science to apply more practical approaches to address the risks associated with Lm in food production.
Sandra Eskin, U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service Deputy Under Secretary Sandra Eskin and U.S. Food and Drug Administration Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response Frank Yiannas provided keynote addresses and encouraged attendees to find solutions that bend the curve of foodborne illness.
“Managing Listeria is a 21st century challenge for food safety,” said AFFI President and CEO Alison Bodor in her opening remarks. “Lm presents unique challenges for both industry and regulatory agencies. The food industry must embrace the best science and regulatory agencies should lead with the most practical control strategies. Ultimately, this forum is about improving our collective ability to prevent foodborne listeriosis.”
Over the past five years, AFFI has been at the forefront of advancing Listeria science and education, development of food safety manufacturing practices, and novel approaches targeting the prevention and control of Lm.
“As part of AFFI’s Listeria Strategy, we’ve systematically progressed and advocated for a science-based and practical approach to the management of Lm in low-risk foods that do not support growth of the pathogen,” said AFFI Executive Vice President of Science and Policy Dr. Donna Garren. “We share the goal of improving public health outcomes and doing so in a way that is achievable for food processors across the food system.”
The Produce Marketing Association, International Dairy Foods Association, National Fisheries Institute and FMI – The Food Industry Association joined AFFI in cohosting the event.
“Collaboration is invaluable when it comes to advancing food safety,” added Bodor. “Today was a constructive step in our ongoing journey to achieve science-based and practical alternatives to current approaches to target Lm.”
The American Frozen Food Institute is the member-driven national trade association representing all segments of the frozen food supply chain from manufacturers to suppliers and distributors. AFFI advocates before legislative and regulatory entities on the industry’s behalf, serves as the voice for the industry and convenes industry leadership to create an environment where frozen foods are essential in a dynamic marketplace. www.affi.org