The Texas Food Safety Conference, scheduled May 10 and 11 at the Hilton Austin, will bring together representatives from one end of the food supply chain to the other to discuss ways to improve food safety throughout the food production and delivery system.
The conference will cover topics from production techniques to marketing objectives says Bret Erickson, project coordinatorfor Texas Citrus Mutual.
“We are expecting not only a strong producer turnout for the event, but numerous individuals and organizations working throughout the entire produce supply chain as well as government officials, researchers, and Extension personnel,” Erickson said. “We are very excited to have the opportunity to bring together so many people who share a common interest in food safety. This is a critical topic for our industry.”
Preventing food safety problems is a key discussion point for the conference. Two panels will look at identifying sources of food safety problems and methods to prevent problems or to identify them sooner.
Gale Prince, recently retired from The Kroger Co. with over 40 years of food safety experience in food manufacturing and retail food operations, will be keynote speaker and will launch the conference at with the opening address at 8:30 a.m. on May 10.
“Prince is a pioneer in food safety, having started in food safety in 1967 at the Jewel Companies and is widely known for his involvement in industry and regulatory activities in addressing food safety issues,” Ericson said. “He has been called ‘The Dean’ of product recalls, having managed several thousand in his career. He is noted for his knowledge of food safety and regulatory requirements.”
Texas commissioner of Agriculture Todd Staples will address a May 10 luncheon, along with David Lakey, the Texas commissioner of health.
Thursday’s agenda includes discussions on water, animals, soilborne pathogens, strategies for implementing safety programs on the farm and highlights of legislation either recently passed or under consideration.
Elsa Murano, Texas A&M, will discuss plans for a large grant she recently received for food safety research.
“Conference registration is $100 per person, exhibitor fee is $300, and we are also offering several sponsorship levels for those who would like to support this exciting event while getting some strong exposure in the process,” Ericson said.
The event is being held at the Hilton Austin, 500 East 4thSt. Austin, TX 78701. A special block rate for conference participants is $139.00 per night.
Phone number is (512) 482-8000. Further hotel information can be found at: http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/AUSCVHH-Hilton-Austin-Texas/index.do.
Interested participants, exhibitors, and sponsors should contact Hector Garza at (956) 584-1772 or by his email at [email protected].
Conference hosts include the Texas Vegetable Association, the Texas Produce Association, the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Texas Department of health Services and the Texas AgriLife Extension service.