Portland, Oregon, USA
July 25, 2015 – July 28, 2015

Scientific Sessions

26 July 2015

Current Perspectives in Food Safety Roundtable

8:30 AM-10 AM, Oregon Ballroom 203

Background: This interactive roundtable is intended to engender lively discussion of important food safety topics. It is assumed audience participants will have a basic understanding of the unresolved issues surrounding the topics to be discussed in the symposium. The session will cover three topics: “Is shoe leather epidemiology dead in the age of Whole Genome Sequencing?”; “Is sustainability treading on food safety?”; and “Is sodium reduction in processed foods a risk to food safety?” Each topic will include a 7 minute presentation in support of (YES) followed by a 7 minute presentation in opposition of (NO) the proposed topic question. Each speaker will have 3 minutes for extemporaneous rebuttals. A 6 minute question/answer session will then follow to allow for audience participation. We will have electronic polling of the audience to allow for a Yes/No vote on each topic question prior to and following the discussion to evaluate whether people’s views have been changed by the presentations.

Conveners: Joe Shebuski, Cargill Incorporated and Jean Anderson, General Mills, Inc.


  • Is Shoe Leather Epidemiology Dead in the Age of Whole Genome Sequencing? | Video
    Yes: Eric Brown, FDA/CFSAN
    No: Martin Wiedman, Cornell University
  • Is Sustainability Treading on Food Safety? | Video
    Yes: Kathy Gombas, FDA/CFSAN
    No: Brent Kobielush, General Mills Inc.
  • Is Sodium Reduction in Processed Foods a Risk to Food Safety? | [Video is not available for this segment of the session.]
    Yes: Peter Taormina, John Morrell & Co.
    No: Kathleen Glass, University of Wisconsin-Madison

This session was sponsored by the IAFNS Food Microbiology Committee.

The Rise of the Genomes II: Practical Integration of Whole Genome Sequencing into Food Safety

1:30 PM-5 PM, Oregon Ballroom 201

Background: Whole genome sequencing is an emerging technology that has moved from research to practical food safety application at the speed of lightning. The technology has now moved into real-time surveillance in public health and food regulation, and the food industry is picking up. This symposium follows up where last year’s, “The Rise of the Genomes” symposium ended: Can whole genome sequencing really replace practical microbiology? Do we need epidemiology in the investigation of food safety emergencies any longer? What have we learned in the past year? Have all expectations been met? What are the gaps? Public health is overly excited with whole genome sequencing but is this revolution good or bad news for the food industry?

Conveners: Peter Gerner-Smidt, CDC and Dean Akins-Lewenthal, ConAgra Foods, Inc.


  • Back to Basics: What is whole genome sequencing? Why the hype?  David Engelthaler, TGen North | Video
  • Is whole genome sequencing really replacing traditional microbiology? — Peter Gerner-Smidt, CDC | Video
  • Whole genome sequencing has transformed detection and investigation of outbreaks! — Kathie Grant, Public Health EnglandVideo
  • Whole genome sequencing for surveillance of the food supply – stopping outbreaks before they appear!  Peter Evans, FDA/CFSANVideo
  • Practical experience with whole genome sequencing in the food industry  Leen Baert, Nestle Research CenterVideo
  • Speaker Roundtable: Regulatory vs. consumer vs. industry perspective; Are traditional microbiological methods and epidemiology dead?; Fear of data sharing facts and myths. | Video

This session is sponsored by the IAFNS Food Microbiology Committee.

28 July 2015

Metals Exposure in Foods

8:30 AM-10 AM, Location – B113-B114

Background: As numerous metals are a normal part of the environment, they conceivably have always been a constituent of foods. The presence of metals in foods and food ingredients has long been recognized as an important factor in assuring a safe and secure food supply. However, the effect of “chasing zero” from an analytical chemistry perspective has led to the ability to detect metals including Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury in foods at very low (ppb) levels. A number of stakeholders have communicated that there can be no safe level of certain metals in the food supply. This is an unrealistic view, but one that must be addressed from a scientific perspective. Placing the proper context on analytical data for metals in foods or food ingredients by critically evaluating the exposure in such situations is important in the development of sound risk assessments and risk management decisions. A tool, based on NHANES intake data, was developed that provides individuals highly trained in fields such as toxicology or risk assessment with information on exposure to metals from various foods that can be incorporated into risk management decisions associated with findings of certain metals in those foods. This symposium will provide: a) An overview on occurrence of metals in food b) Use of the heavy metal screening tool for risk assessment and c) Examples to demonstrate the effective use of the heavy metal screening tool in evaluating the low, medium and high risk of the occurrence of heavy metals in foods.

Convener: Brent Kobielush, General Mills, Inc.


  • Introduction to metals in foods  Jorge Muniz Ortiz, USDA, FSIS | Video
  • Heavy Metal Screening Tool  Leila Barraj, Exponent | Video
  • Utility of Metals Exposure Screening Tool: When the Rubber meets the Road  Ji-Eun Lee, Kellogg Company | Video

This sessions is sponsored by the IAFNS Food & Chemical Safety Committee.

How Do I Validate That? Assuring Credibility of Process Controls for Pathogen Reduction

8:30 AM-12 PM, Oregon Ballroom 201

Background: The validation of control measures has historically been a requirement of food safety management systems and is increasingly required by certification bodies, regulatory agencies and customers. Criteria for the design, execution and interpretation of validation studies are often unavailable or unclear for control measures beyond traditional canning, acidification or pasteurization. A wide range of products are subjected to processing steps that provide varying levels of pathogen reduction. The approach used for almond process validation has provided an example of the establishment by an industry segment of standardized criteria for the design and evaluation of a challenging process. This session discusses approaches to validation of control measures and control measure combinations as well as the qualification and role of an expert Process Authority in determining the credibility of process validation.

Conveners: Tim Jackson, Nestle North America and Philip Elliott, Kellogg Company


  • Validation Studies – An Overview  Nancy Bontempo, Mondelez International | Video
  • Validation Targets – Setting limits with limited data  Don Schaffner, Rutgers UniversityVideo
  • Validation Target – Surrogate Selection  Monica Ponder, Virginia TechVideo
  • Control Point Validation  Tim Jackson, Nestlé North AmericaVideo
  • Assessing Credibility – Establishing the Expert Process Authority  Wilfredo Ocasio, The National Food LabVideo
  • Regulatory Credibility – Don Zink, FDA | Video

This session was sponsored by the IAFNS Food Microbiology Committee.

Poster Presentations

Videos coming soon

26 July 2015

Development of Inoculation Methods for Enterococcus faecium, a Potential Surrogate Bacteria for Salmonella, on Whole Black Peppercorns and Cumin
Monica Ponder, Virginia Tech; Lauren Bowman, Virginia Tech; Robert C. Williams, Virginia Tech; Kim Waterman, Virginia Tech
P1-68 | Video

Standardizing an Oregano Inoculation Procedure for Use in Challenge Studies on Reduction of Salmonella in Dry Spices
E. Veronica Arias-Rios, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, Alejandro Castillo, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, Gary Acuff, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, James Dickson, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

27 July 2015

On‐farm Evaluation of the Prevalence of Human Enteric Bacterial Pathogens during the Production of Melons in California and Arizona
Trevor Suslow, University of California
C124 | Video

Toxicology and Risk Assessment of Chemical Mixtures
Mansi Krishan, IAFNS

Find out more information about IAFP 2015 on their website.