NC 2017 Food Safety Forum is Aug. 15

NC 2017 Food Safety Forum logo
NC 2017 Food Safety Forum logo

By Brian Long, NCDA&CS

Helping small farms prepare for new federal food safety rules will be among topics covered at the 13th-annual Commissioner’s Food Safety Forum on August 15, 2017, at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds.

Anyone interested in food safety is encouraged to attend. This is a free event and lunch is included at the conclusion of the event.

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler will host the event from 9am to 12:30pm in the Expo Center at the Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh NC. It is open to farmers, food businesses, regulators, health professionals and other interested people. Admission is free and includes lunch, but pre-registration is requested.

Registration deadline is August 11, 2017. To register, go to www.ncagr.gov/ncfoodsafetyforum and click the “Registration” link.

As the federal Food Safety Modernization Act is implemented across the country, farms of all sizes will be subject to on-farm inspections and other food safety rules. Roland McReynolds, executive director of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, will talk about the importance of training collaborations for small farms to comply with the rules. And Chuck Ross, extension director with the University of Vermont’s College of Agriculture and Life Science, will give an update on FSMA implementation.

In addition, Dr. Steven Taylor, professor at the University of Nebraska, will talk about incorporating allergen controls within food-processing facilities. Taylor is founder and co-director of the university’s Food Allergy Research & Resource Program. His research has focused on developing methods to detect residues of allergenic foods, and he has worked with numerous companies on a wide range of allergen-related topics.

Other speakers include Dr. Clint Stevenson, assistant professor of food science education at NC State University. “Dr. Stevenson and his team have developed virtual reality training sessions that allow students and professionals to interact with virtual representations of real-world food manufacturing facilities and look for food safety problems,” Troxler said. “Stevenson will demonstrate how he brings the factory into the classroom.”

The forum is organized by the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and sponsored by Harris Teeter.

The forum preliminary agenda is online at www.ncagr.gov/ncfoodsafetyforum/agenda.htm. Individuals with questions should contact Derek Wagner via email or call 919.707.3011.

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