( Courtesy CPS )

The Center for Produce Safety’s 2019 Research Symposium is focusing on the biggest food safety issue the industry has faced in the past year with a two-part session, “Perspectives on the 2018 Romaine Outbreaks.”

Cathy Burns, CEO of the Produce Marketing Association and co-chairwoman of the Romaine Task Force, will moderate the first session, with a panel featuring:

  • Dave Corsi, vice president of produce and floral at Wegmans, and CPS chairman;
  • Michael Robach, CEO of the Robach Group and former global vice president of food safety, quality and regulatory for Cargill;
  • Mike Taylor, former deputy commissioner for foods at the Food and Drug Administration, and a senior fellow at the Meridian Institute and board member at STOP Foodborne Illness; and
  • Tim York, CEO of Markon Cooperative.

“I look forward to engaging task force leaders during the CPS Research Symposium to get their perspectives on what we've learned and gain more insights about the changes our industry must make,” Burns said in a news release.

She said the discussion will provide context for the second session, which features experts who will examine existing and emerging science for future solutions,” according to the release.

The second panel’s moderators will be Jennifer McEntire, vice president of food safety and technology for the United Fresh Produce Association, and Bob Whitaker, the PMA’s chief science officer.

Scheduled panelists are:

  • Samir Assar, director of the FDA’s produce safety division;
  • Natalie Dyenson, vice president of food safety and quality for Dole Food Groups;
  • Channah Rock, professor and water quality specialist at the University of Arizona; and
  • Martin Wiedmann, professor of food science at Cornell University.

"We look forward to both sessions knowing there is no better place to discuss the critical food safety issues which will fuel change to drive the industry forward,” Burns said in the release.

The symposium is June 18-19 in Austin, Texas. For more information and to register online, visit the Center for Produce Safety's website.

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