Program 2023

March 30-31; Chicago, IL


7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Registration & Refreshments

8:30 AM - 8:40 AM

Chair’s Opening Remarks

8:40 AM - 9:25 AM - Panel Discussion

Leadership & Workforce Development

Bridging the Gap Between R&D and Quality

Fabien Robert, Zone America Quality Assurance Center Head, Nestle

  • QbD as part of new product developments 
  • Speed to market large vs small companies 

9:25 AM - 9:55 AM - Keynote

Quality Assurance & Microbiology

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM - Case Studies

Safety, Compliance and Risk Management

Food Defense and the FBI

Christopher Young, Intelligence Analyst, FBI Chicago

Heath Parvis, Special Agent, FBI Chicago

In this session, representatives from FBI Chicago will provide an overview of how threats against the food sector have evolved, how FBI Chicago assesses the threat will move forward, and how to partner with your local FBI field office. Your FBI investigates potential threats against the food sector. The FBI would like to partner with your team to protect our food supply, your employees, and your company.

10:30 AM - 11:20 AM

1-2-1 Meetings & Networking Refreshments

11:20 AM - 11:50 AM - Solution Spotlights

Technology & IoT

Solution Spotlight by Veeva Systems

Safety, Compliance and Risk Management

Solution Spotlight Automation in Food Production Lines

  • How can automation improve food safety  
  • Integrating autonomous systems into your existing production lines

11:55 AM - 12:25 PM - Case Studies

Safety, Compliance and Risk Management

Managing Safety and Compliance of Ingredients within the Food Supply Chain

  • Regulatory updates 
  • Responding flexibly to supply changes and challenges driven by Covid-19, Climate Change etc impacting our risk assessments. 

12:25 PM - 1:25 PM

Networking Lunch

1:25 PM - 1:55 PM - Case Studies

Safety, Compliance and Risk Management

Conducting a Thorough and Legally Compliant Food Label Review

  • Overview of key regulations and standards governing label reviews 
  • Critical components to include in your label review checklist 
  • Allocating responsibility for the review 
  • Considerations for food exporters 

Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Operations & Facilities

Topic TBC (PepsiCo)

Jeannie Kim, Principal Scientist, Pepsico

  • Global & local impact of plastic waste
  • Importance of Sustainable packaging
  • Regulatory status of rPET in top markets
  • Overview of recycling process
  • Overview of food safety/regulatory approval
  • Challenges

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM - Solution Spotlights

Technology & IoT

Solution Spotlight by Nexcor

Leadership & Workforce Development

Solution Spotlight: Breaking Information Silos with an Automated Food Safety System

  • Various sources, one data pool for a clearer food safety and quality image 
  • Digitised record keeping improves business efficiency and makes mistakes easier to spot.

2:30 PM - 3:20 PM

iSolve Meetings & Networking Refreshments

3:20 PM - 3:50 PM - Case Studies

Safety, Compliance and Risk Management

Revolutionising Food Safety and Improve Contamination Detection

  • Utilising metagenomics to enhance understanding of food environments 
  • Improving contamination detection 
  • Understanding microbial dynamics 

Leadership & Workforce Development

Establishing a Robust Process to Action Product Recalls

  • Creating a fast and effective process to identify when to carry out a product recall 
  • Building a the recall team 
  • Notifying the relevant authorities and stakeholders 
  • How to minimize any potential backlash 

3:55 PM - 4:30 PM - Solution Spotlights

Quality Assurance & Microbiology

Solution Spotlight by TraceGains

Quality Assurance & Microbiology

Improving Quality Standards in the 21st Century

  • Ultra-sensitive colour detection in the food and beverage industry  
  • Automated visual inspection and removal for soft fruit 
  • Advances in X-ray examination 
  • Challenges in snack foods inspection

4:35 PM - 5:20 PM - Keynote

Leadership & Workforce Development

Transformational Leadership. The Key to Advancing Mainstream Food Safety Systems

Adeniyi Odugbemi, PhD, Global Director of food safety & food defense, ADM

Effective leaders listen, guide, and motivate others to use change as a positive force to explore innovation and inspire action. Transformational leaders are the heart of inventive, meaningful, and sustainable change in food processing. Transformational leaders focus less on making decisions or establishing strategic plans, and more on facilitating organizational collaboration that can help drive a vision forward.  This makes leadership very important to business growth and success. The role of having the right leadership to shepherd the adoption of the right food safety systems and culture in the food industry value chain is vital in the quest for food safety, food security, and food sustainability. This presentation will expose how food facilities leaders and the entire food value chain can adopt the right systems and appropriate leadership concepts alongside integrity mantras that are vital for the future of the industry. Wise leaders tune into workplace culture trends and plan to help their organization and employees flourish. The front-line manager is the key link between the employee and the organization. This presentation will further define how a strong connection is at the heart of employee retention in the workplace. As you think about these trends and how they impact your organization, how can leaders prepare themselves and their team for this rapidly evolving season? This presentation will review assumptions about high-impact strategies that are worth investing time and resources in pursuing. High impact means the effort aims to change the mindset that created the organization or system of organizations.

5:25 PM - 5:30 PM

Chair's Closing Remarks & End of Day 1

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Evening Drinks Reception

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM

Registration & Refreshments

8:45 AM - 8:50 AM

Chair’s Opening Remarks

8:50 AM - 9:25 AM - Keynote

Leadership & Workforce Development

Emerging Market Entry Strategies: How to Establish a Foundation of Trust

  • How best to overcome the challenges faced when expanding into emerging markets 
  • What risks need to be mitigated when doing business in emerging markets? 
  • Maintaining your manufacturing quality and food safety in a country with lower standards

9:25 AM - 10:00 AM - Keynote

Technology & IoT

Food Safety in The News: Fighting the Social Media War

Adeniyi Odugbemi, PhD, Global Director of food safety & food defense, ADM

New regulations, incidences, new technologies, and other happenings continue to shape the way food businesses are operated and the impact that food has on the lives of consumers. The diffusion of online fake news about food is becoming increasingly fast-paced and widespread, making it more difficult for the public to recognize reliable information. Reported news and the transmission of information across social media sites continue to deploy negative media trends. Misinformation about food processing and handling practices has had a negative impact on consumption patterns and created anxiety among consumers. These events deal with the negative impact of what has been categorized as fake news and rumors, which have particularly impacted the purchasing and consumption pattern of consumers.  In a fast-globalizing world where food is a necessity of life, the news in one part of the World easily makes the headlines in other regions fast!! And yet, despite better connections and a more informed public, no one is on the same page with fact-finding the erroneous information and having a major campaign of verified topics. Unfortunately, unverified and baseless information is increasingly being disseminated and accessed through social media applications. Food industry experts have urged authorities need to monitor inaccurate reports and put out clarifications as soon as possible on social media showing that food safety and quality parameter are non-negotiable.  This presentation will evaluate how food handlers can mitigate information on social media content on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The presentation will discuss the many ways unverified contest is affecting the food business.

10:05 AM - 10:40 AM - Solution Spotlights

Technology & IoT

Choosing the Correct Allergen Detection System for Your Business

  • The different models available: Immunological screening, strip tests and ELISAs 
  • Biosensor use for allergen testing 
  • Choosing the correct system for your needs 

Quality Assurance & Microbiology

Take Out the Guesswork – Characterising Flavour and Applying Sensory Science to the Assessment of Food Quality

  • Examining the key attributes that determine food quality 
  • How to scientifically assess quality using analytical data and electronic tools: considering gas chromatography-olfactometry and chemical sensor technologies (electronics noses and tongues)  
  • Data from various sensory methods: weighing up the various options 

10:40 AM - 11:40 AM

iSolve Meetings & Networking Refreshments

11:40 AM - 12:15 PM - Case Studies

Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Operations & Facilities

Quality Assurance & Microbiology

12:20 PM - 12:55 PM - Case Studies

Leadership & Workforce Development

How Quality and Food Safety Culture, Programs and Technology Together Can Deliver Best-in-Class Performance

Arnie Sair, Head of Global Quality & Food Safety, Bunge

Quality Assurance & Microbiology

Microbiological Detection in Meat and Poultry Processing Facilities

  • Current situation with detection capabilities of common pathogens 
  • Fast detection of common pathogens  
  • Real-time detection, how close are we to relying fully on them?

12:55 PM - 1:55 PM

Networking Lunch

1:55 PM - 2:30 PM - Case Studies

Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Operations & Facilities

Topic TBC: Balancing Food Safety with Sustainability

Technology & IoT

Current Lab Technologies for Pathogen Testing – How to Determine What Works for You

  • Profiling the main detection technologies currently available—cellular, immunological, molecular and spectrometric 
  • Weighing the methods based on speed, accuracy and ease of use 
  • Performance criteria to aid in the method selection process 
  • Detection limits 

2:35 PM - 3:10 PM - Case Studies

Quality Assurance & Microbiology

Strategies to Detect and Identify Foreign Bodies

  • Right equipment vs right training to production line staff 
  • Performing effective risk assessments based on likely contaminants from your supply chain 
  •  Creating a continuous development programme 

Quality Assurance & Microbiology

Applying Metagenomic Sequencing to Revolutionise Food Safety and Improve Contamination Detection

  • Utilising metagenomics to categorise the active genes that typically exist in food environments 
  • How will this improve contamination detection? 
  • Understanding the dynamics of microbial communities

3:15 PM - 3:50 PM - Case Studies

Quality Assurance & Microbiology

Microbiology in a Quality Context

  • Limitations of common microbiological tests 
  • Microbiology and food texture 
  • Microbiology and food taste 

Quality Assurance & Microbiology

Public Safety Threats from Antibiotic Use

  • Threats to public health from antibiotic over use 
  • Why do we use antibiotics so frequently?  
  • Maintaining livestock health without antibiotic use 

3:55 PM - 4:30 PM - Keynote

Leadership & Workforce Development

What a Best-in-Class Risk Assessment Looks Like in 2023

  • How a comprehensive risk analysis differs from a hazard analysis 
  • Analysing products, processes and procedures   
  • Ensuring every stakeholder in the process is involved and knows what they need to do 
  • Utilising quantitative data – red flags to watch for 

4:30 PM - 4:40 PM

Chair's Closing Remarks & End of Conference