Learnings and Challenges Developing the Largest Gut Microbiome Discovery Platform — From Bench to Commercial Application

Virtual, Event

Ten years ago, two scientists had a hypothesis that the body’s glycemic response to food was personalized and due to not just food, but the person eating the food.  To prove their hypothesis they conducted the largest nutrition trials ever conducted and demonstrated that the gut microbiome has meaningful predictive value.

Read more about Learnings and Challenges Developing the Largest Gut Microbiome Discovery Platform — From Bench to Commercial Application

IAFP 2021

Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Each year, the International Association for Food Protection hosts an Annual Meeting, providing attendees with information on current and emerging food safety issues, the latest science, innovative solutions to new and recurring problems, and the opportunity to network with thousands of food safety professionals from around the globe.

Read more about IAFP 2021

IFT 2021 Annual Meeting

Virtual, Event

Sodium Reduction in Food: Where Are We Now? Extensive debate continues around the best approach for lowering population sodium intake, particularly given that public health campaigns related to labeling and education have had minimal impact. As a result, experts have more recently suggested that sodium reduction in the food supply is the only recourse. This session looks at that and other alternatives to addressing sodium intakes.

Read more about IFT 2021 Annual Meeting

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Each year, the International Association for Food Protection hosts an Annual Meeting, providing attendees with information on current and emerging food safety issues, the latest science, innovative solutions to new and recurring problems, and the opportunity to network with thousands of food safety professionals from around the globe.

This year, IAFNS Food and Chemical Safety Committee and Food Microbiology Committee are supporting the four sessions at the IAFP Annual Meeting.

Progressing Allergen Risk Management: Thresholds and Quantitative Risk Assessment Expand

July 21, 2021, 1:45 PM - 3:15 PM ET

Food allergies constitute a significant public health issue that affects approximately 32 million Americans. The Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) reports a 377% increase in the diagnosis of anaphylactic food reactions between 2007 and 2016. Although research is ongoing for therapeutics, the primary management for food-allergic consumers is strict dietary avoidance. Food choices, however, may be limited for these consumers because of widespread and inconsistent use of precautionary allergen labeling (e.g., statements such as may contain). The concept of reference doses based on a threshold effect is routinely used in public health risk assessment to inform the approach to risk management. For food allergens, dose response modeling of clinical data from oral food challenges in food-allergic individuals has the potential to inform allergen risk management decisions and drive consistency in allergen labeling. This session will explore the current understanding and application of reference doses for food allergens (derived from the modeling of individual thresholds) and consider what information and tools are needed to progress toward reliable allergen risk assessment and management decisions.

Bayesian Hierarchical Evaluation of Dose-Response for Peanut Allergy in Clinical Trial Screening
Lynne Haber, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH Occurrence of Allergens in Pre-Packaged Foods in Conjunction with the Use of Precautionary Labeling in Canada: Learnings and Future Directions
Samuel Godefroy, Université Laval, Department of Food Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Quebec City, QC, Canada Practical Applications of Quantitative Risk Assessment of Allergens
Benjamin Remington, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE

 

This session is supported by the IAFNS Food and Chemical Safety Committee.

Developing Atmospheric Cold Plasma as a Nonthermal Food Safety Tool Expand

July 21, 2021, 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM ET

Cold plasma is an emerging technology proposed as a nonthermal process to reduce food safety risks on a variety of foods. Atmospheric cold plasma has a benefit in that it can be applied to packaged foods to reduce surface contaminants such as Salmonella or STEC on fresh fruits and vegetables or L. monocytogenes on high-moisture cheeses. This symposium will present an overview of the technology, examples of inactivating microbes as well as demonstrating it as a novel approach to reduce the presence of mycotoxins on grains. Results from validation studies will be presented and challenges to commercialization will be addressed.

Brendan Niemira, PhD, USDA Agricultural Research Service

 

Kevin Keener, PhD, University of Guelph

 

Melha Mellata, PhD, Iowa State University

 

Paula Bourke, PhD, University College Dublin

 

 

This event is supported by the IAFNS Food Microbiology Committee.

Advances in Powdered Food Safety and Quality Sampling Plans: Theory, Simulation and Practice Expand

July 19, 2021, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM ET

Powdered products are burdened by low-prevalence, low-level contamination that is typically heterogeneously distributed. Multiple commodities and products could benefit from improved management of these risks as evidenced by outbreaks of foodborne disease linked to dairy powders, wheat and nut flours, and powdered infant formula. This session will focus on advances in powder sampling and provide depth in one well-studied commodity, dairy powder, upon which other commodities may draw analogous lessons.

As manufacturers supply domestic and global markets, they must continue to manage rare microbiological contamination with foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella, chemical contamination with mycotoxins such as aflatoxin, and meet increasingly stringent customer quality requirements for indicator and spore counts, to ensure product compliance with regulatory standards. While product testing is one fundamental component of food safety and quality management, traditional best practices like ICMSF-style manual N60 grab sampling is underpowered when those hazards are at low prevalence and level. Modern technologies like autosamplers provide opportunities to improve practice by automating the process of sample collection. This opens the possibility to take many more, smaller samples with complex stratification and true randomness.

Currently, the food industry is needing improvements in practices to meet safety and quality challenges. This session meets that need by addressing knowledge gaps around the benefits of improved sampling plans, technologies and implementation strategies, using dairy powders as an example case. The session will start with a speaker presenting recent statistical theory modelling powder sampling to define the performance of traditional grab compared to auto sampling approaches. The next speaker will present work simulating dairy powder sampling to better define the variability of sampling plans when applied to specific production and hazard scenarios. Finally, we will hear from an industry speaker providing perspective on the value and practicality of getting this done in a multinational company.

Modelling the Effect of Sampling Methods on Detection Tests for Powdered Products
Roger Kissling, Fonterra Simulating Production and Hazard Scenarios in Powdered Product Sampling to Improve Food Safety Sampling Plans
Matthew J. Stasiewicz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Industry Need and Role for Improved Sampling of Powdered Products
Pamela Wilger, Cargill

 

This session is supported by the IAFNS Food Microbiology Committee.

 

 

 

Emergency Use of Microbial Methods of Detection by Industry - Alternative Routes Proving Fit for Purpose Expand

July 20, 2021, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM ET

The food safety industry must ensure analytical methods designed to detect hazards are fit-for-purpose for their specific commodities. Meanwhile, the food industry is developing hundreds of new ingredients and products that will require screening for microbial hazards. With the ever-expanding diversity of these food products, what happens when a testing laboratory is presented with an urgent request for testing a matrix that was not included in the method's original validation study? The laboratory is asked to deviate from the intended use of the method by testing a different matrix or a different test portion size.

This situation can occur when a food manufacturer requires a faster turn-around time for product release than their standard method allows, when there is a sudden issue with the performance of a rapid test kit, or if a test kits from the manufacturer are backordered. Do these situations constitute an emergency? Arguably, this upset in product distribution could constitute an emergency in terms of the supply chain which is already under stress due to pandemic disruptions - with real effects on consumer well-being and the economy.

This roundtable will consider the key components required for a matrix validation and acceptable strategies for matrix validation that can be used in emergency situations. What approaches will allow expediency while assuring that the method is fit for purpose?

Invited panel participants:
• Deann Akins-Lewenthal, ConAgra Brands
• Patrick Bird, Technical Consultant, AOAC INTERNATIONAL
• Megan Brown, Eurofins
• Tom Hammack, US Food and Drug Administration
• Kelly Stevens, General Mills

 

This session is supported by the IAFNS Food Microbiology Committee.

 

 

Learn more about the IAFP Annual Meeting.

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2015

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A Collaboration between the IAFNS Technical Committees on Food Microbiology and Sodium View the Published Workshop Proceedings

Workshop Summary

Extensive debate continues on how to lower sodium intakes of the population given that previous campaigns, related to labeling and education, have had minimal impact. The workshop objective was to connect the dots with the nutrition and public health community on why sodium reduction has been so challenging due in large part to the variety of microbial and functional roles sodium plays across different food categories. The workshop provided greater knowledge and appreciation of these challenges. The workshop broadened the dialogue and presented what we have learned in the last 5 years since the release of the Institute of Medicine’s Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the United States Report about the functional challenges with sodium reduction. Speakers included the USDA Undersecretary and Chief Scientist Catherine Woteki, PhD, and FDA Office of Food Additive Safety scientist, Kasey Heintz, and experts from the Monell Institute, academia, and industry. The workshop provided an opportunity for nearly 75 experts including microbiologists, food scientists, public health professionals, and nutritionists to come together and discuss current initiatives, potential technologies, and how their challenges vary between sectors. Attendees included experts from FDA, USDA, CDC, NIH, Health Canada, the New York City Department of Health, Institute of Medicine Food & Nutrition Board, American Heart Association, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Institute of Food Technology, among others. The recommendation from the nutrition community has been to lower sodium in incremental steps so better taste acceptance is achieved in the lower sodium product. However, from a microbial food safety perspective, small changes in a product’s formulation requires that a new process validation is undertaken by the manufacturer for the new product formulation which requires sufficient time and resources depending on the product category. Discussion focused on the challenges faced when reducing or replacing sodium in foods, including technical challenges such as flavor profiles, unwanted chemical reactions and changes in texture; microbiological challenges such as decreasing water activity and reducing growth of pathogens and food spoilage organisms; and regulatory challenges and implications associated with replacing sodium chloride. Questions raised during the workshop wondered if consumers are willing to accept shorter shelf life for lower sodium levels and if an unintended consequence is increased food waste? In the effort to safely reduce sodium, the experts made recommendations on where scientific research is needed in order to make recommendations leading to improved public health. The workshop provided an outline of potential next steps in how to approach this enormous public health challenge in a systematic manner. With such a complex task at hand, even small steps are incredibly important and are the most realistic way to make progress.

Videos and Presentations

IAFNS experienced technical difficulties with the audio of the some of the presentations filmed during the workshop. The audio has been edited to elevate the quality as much as possible, but we apologize for any difficulty you have in hearing the presentations. Introductory Remarks from Moderators Christine Taylor, FDA (retired) & Michael Doyle, University of Georgia Sodium Reduction – A Practical Path Forward Kasey Heintz, FDA CFSAN USDA Catherine Woteki, USDA

Non-Microbiological Functional Roles of Sodium in Food

Introduction to Functional and Quality Applications of Sodium Kathy Groves, Leatherhead Food Research Texture/Mouthfeel in Grain Products  Janice Johnson, Cargill, Incorporated Salt Taste and Substitutes Paul Breslin, Monell Institute Regulatory Considerations (Claims / Standards of Identity) Kantha Shelke, Corvus Blue Case Study: Soup Patricia Zecca, Campbell Soup Company Case Study: Regulatory and Policy Considerations of Sodium Reduction in Dairy Foods Edith Wilkin, Leprino Foods Co. Case Study: Salt Substitutes Janice Johnson, Cargill, Incorporated Discussant Panel Moderated by Kathy Groves, Leatherhead Food Research

Microbiological Roles of Sodium in Food

Introduction: Salt and Sodium Preservatives for Microbiological Stability Michael Doyle, University of Georgia Processed (Cured and Deli) Meats  Jeff Sindelar, University of Wisconsin-Madison Microbial Considerations in Reduced Sodium Cheese and Other Dairy Products Kathleen Glass, University of Wisconsin-Madison Functional Role of Sodium in Refrigerated Dough and Refrigerated Dough Spoilage and Waste Dave Domingues, General Mills Inc. Case Study: Meat Peter Taormina, Smithfield Foods Case Study: Cheese/Dairy Bill Graves, National Dairy Council Discussant Panel Moderated by Michael Doyle, University of Georgia Closing Remarks Christine Taylor, FDA (retired) & Michael Doyle, University of Georgia

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