Providence, Rhode Island, USA
July 22, 2012 – July 25, 2012

Symposium 1: “Today Their Problem—Tomorrow Ours: Impact of International Trade on Food Safety”

Monday, July 23, 8:30am – 12:00pm

A greater knowledge of different kinds of organisms based on region of origin is warranted based on increased volumes of international trade in foods.  New pathogens, new food products, and the growing volume of imported foods are an increasing challenge to food safety.  What unusual types or sub-types of pathogens might be associated with various international regions?   Are these pathogens associated with foods? Import of a variety of food products and ingredients into the US continues to increase.  This symposium will explore unusual pathogens or pathogen subtypes (Salmonella serotypes, E. coli serotypes) which might be encountered in imported foods from different parts of the world (Asia, Australia, South America, Eastern Europe) and what unusual foodborne disease outbreaks occur in different regions.

Moderators: Martin Wiedmann and Jean Anderson

Pathogens in the international food supply – why a broader perspective is needed
Martin Wiedmann, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

How international surveillance of foodborne infections is performed:The role of the WHO Global Foodborne Infections Network, PulseNet International, WHO-INFOSAN and WHO-IHR
Peter Gerner-Smidt, CDC, Atlanta, GA

Salmonella—unusual serotypes in South-East Asia
Rene Hendriksen, National Food Institute and Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark

E. coli subtypes causing disease in Europe and Australia
Stefano Morabito, ISS, EU Reference Laboratory for E coli. Including VTEC, Rome, Italy

Foodborne viruses—what else is out there?
Daniel G. Bausch, Tulane School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine and Naval Medical Research Unit 6 in Lima, Peru

Parasites—South-East Asia
Peter Ben Embarek, China Office, WHO, Beijing, China

Symposium 2: “Salmonella in low moisture foods: a continued challenge”

Monday, July 23, 1:30pm – 5:00pm

Human salmonellosis has remained a considerable challenge for the US food industry, regulatory, and public health agencies over the last decade. This challenge is illustrated by the fact that the annual incidence of human salmonellosis cases in the US has not decreased over the last decade, despite the fact that the prevalence of a number of illnesses caused by a number of other foodborne pathogens has decreased considerably over the same time frame. For a variety of reasons, control of Salmonella in low moisture foods represents a particular challenge. This symposium will include an introductory overview presentation on the challenges of controlling Salmonella in low moisture foods as well as the outlook for improved and novel approaches to address this issue.

Moderators: Laurie Post and Sanjit Fernandes

Salmonella in low moisture foods: challenges and potential solutions
Don Zink, FDA/CFSAN, College Park, MD

Inactivation of Salmonella on Raw Nuts Using Low-energy X-ray
Sanghyup Jeong, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Thermal inactivation and survival of Salmonella in food as a function of water activity and fat level
Elena Enache GMA, Washington, DC

Influence of water mobility on persistence of Salmonella in low moisture foods
Joseph Frank, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Improved process validation strategies for Salmonella inactivation on low-moisture food products subjected to thermal pasteurization processes
Bradley Marks, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Using limited data sets to assess Salmonella risk in low moisture foods
Donald Schaffner, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Roundtable: “Current Controversies in Food Safety”

Tuesday, July 24, 8:30am – 10:00am

This interactive roundtable will cover three topics:  “Should pasteurization of all raw ground meat and poultry be required prior to being offered for retail?”; “Is Clostridium difficile colitis a foodborne disease?”; “Should Listeria monocytogenes in low moisture foods be considered an adulterant?”  Each topic will include a 9 min presentation in support of (PRO) followed by a 9 min presentation in opposition to (CON) the proposed question.  Each speaker will have 3 min for extemporaneous rebuttals. A 6 min question/answer session will then follow to allow for audience participation.

Moderators: Marguerite Neill and Joe Shebuski

Topics of Discussion
Should pasteurization of all raw ground meat and poultry be required prior to being offered for retail?

  • Pro:  Payton Pruett, The Kroger Co., Cincinnati, OH
  • Con: Betsy Booren, American Meat Institute, Washington, DC

Is Clostridium difficile colitis a foodborne disease?

  • Pro:  Glenn Songer, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
  • Con: Brandi Limbago, CDC, Atlanta, GA

Should Listeria monocytogenes in low moisture foods be considered an adulterant?

  • Pro:  David Acheson, Leavitt Partners, LLC, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Con: Jens Kirk Andersen, Technical University of Denmark, Soborg, Demark

This work was supported by the IAFNS Committee on Food Microbiology.