America Trades Produce Conference looks at food safety issues

02/07/2012 05:11:00 PM
Mike Hornick

U.S. and Mexico regulators will update grower-shippers on food safety policy at the America Trades Produce Conference in Tubac, Ariz.

The session features Mike Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods at the federal Food and Drug Administration, and Octavio Carranza, general director of food, aquacultural and fishery safety at SENASICA, Mexico’s National Service of Health, Safety and Food Quality.

The conference is March 21-23.

Jim Gorny, senior advisor for produce safety at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, will also discuss how the Food Safety Modernization Act and Mexico’s good agricultural practices programs interconnect, according to a news release.

“To have a key architect of FSMA in Mike Taylor on stage with his counterpart in Mexico, Octavio Carranza, is an unprecedented opportunity for the industry,” Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, said in the release.

FPAA and the Texas Produce Association co-host the event. Registration is here.

Another session, “The Mechanics of Responding to a Food Safety Outbreak/Recall,” features representatives of the industry, SENASICA, FDA and the federal Centers for Disease Control. They’ll respond to a hypothetical food safety incident as details emerge from a developing investigation.

“This conference will allow participants to hear the latest on two matters that will directly impact their bottom line: the long-awaited produce rule, and the foreign supplier verification rule,” Texas Produce Association president John McClung said in the release.

Another session, “The Mexican Papaya Autopsy,” will explore ongoing food safety advances and lessons learned from a 2011 papaya recall. It too will feature an FDA representative.

Separately, Domenic Veneziano, director of FDA’s division of import operations and policy, and Adrian Garcia of FDA’s Nogales, Ariz., office, will discuss two new preventative controls tracking systems: Predictive Risk-based Evaluation for Dynamic Import Compliance Targeting (PREDICT) and Import Trade Auxiliary Communications System (ITACS).



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