2023 Program

March 30-31; Chicago, IL

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Registration & Refreshments

8:30 AM - 8:40 AM

Chair’s Opening Remarks

8:40 AM - 9:25 AM - Panel Discussion

Food Based on Animal Ingredients is a Big Market Segment, but Can we Demonstrate the Sustainability Behind Animal Protein

Fabien Robert, Zone America Quality Assurance Center Head, Nestle

Adam Brock, Vice President of Food Safety, Quality and Regulatory Compliance, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin

Jonathan Deutsch, Ph.D, CHE, CRC Professor in the Department of Food and Hospitality Management, Drexel University

Luis Carlos Chacon, Op-Ed Columnist | Global Consultant, Forbes Latin America | BusinessCase

Miri Eliyahu, Senior Research Analyst for Food and Beverages , Euromonitor International

  • Vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and fruits. You may choose a plant-based diet for various reasons but are these the most sustainable options?
  • Food sustainability can be achieved through responsible meat consumption. If so, what are the opportunities for our market?

9:25 AM - 9:55 AM - Keynote

Quality Assurance & Microbiology

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM - Case Studies

Safety, Compliance and Risk Management

Food Defense and the FBI

Christopher Young, Intelligence Analyst, FBI Chicago

Heath Parvis, Special Agent, FBI Chicago

In this session, representatives from FBI Chicago will provide an overview of how threats against the food sector have evolved, how FBI Chicago assesses the threat will move forward, and how to partner with your local FBI field office. Your FBI investigates potential threats against the food sector. The FBI would like to partner with your team to protect our food supply, your employees, and your company.

10:30 AM - 11:20 AM

1-2-1 Meetings & Networking Refreshments

11:20 AM - 11:50 AM - Case Studies

Leadership & Workforce Development

Challenges to Merge Different Culture and Quality Systems

Jean-Pierre Punsola, Senior Vice President Quality North America, Ferrero

  • Abstract TBC

11:55 AM - 12:25 PM - Solution Spotlights

Technology & IoT

Solution Spotlight by Veeva Systems

Safety, Compliance and Risk Management

Food Defense – Bridging the Gap Between Food Safety and Cybersecurity

Neil Coole, Director – Food & Retail Sector, BSI Americas

Digitalization is already having a transformative effect on food and beverage supply chains, improving efficiency and transparency, reducing cost and boosting sustainability while creating conditions for more resilient business practices. However, with this evolution in the industry there are areas of vulnerability, from food defense plans being updated, innovation and operational technologies through to TACCP teams and how they are evolving to encompass the exposures that come with technology?


In this session you will have the opportunity to learn about the emerging cybersecurity threats and attacks against the food and beverage industry, the different types of attacks, motivation of the attackers and how food safety professionals can take proactive steps to build more resilient systems to reduce the likelihood of a successful attack against your organization.

Attendees will have access to a complimentary copy of PAS 96:2017 – Guide to protecting and defending food and drink from deliberate attack.

12:25 PM - 1:25 PM

Networking Lunch

1:25 PM - 1:55 PM - Case Studies

Safety, Compliance and Risk Management

Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Operations & Facilities

Topic TBC (PepsiCo)

Jeannie Kim, Principal Scientist, Pepsico

  • Global & local impact of plastic waste
  • Importance of Sustainable packaging
  • Regulatory status of rPET in top markets
  • Overview of recycling process
  • Overview of food safety/regulatory approval
  • Challenges

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM - Solution Spotlights

Technology & IoT

Solution Spotlight by Nexcor

Leadership & Workforce Development

Solution Spotlight: Breaking Information Silos with an Automated Food Safety System

  • Various sources, one data pool for a clearer food safety and quality image 
  • Digitised record keeping improves business efficiency and makes mistakes easier to spot.

2:30 PM - 3:20 PM

iSolve Meetings & Networking Refreshments

3:20 PM - 3:50 PM - Case Studies

Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Operations & Facilities

A Predictive Quality and Error Proof Food Safety Journey

Brian Perry, Senior Vice President Food Safety, Quality

Share in the learnings from the TreeHouse Foods’ Food Safety and Quality journey to build in statistical process control for product quality and a multiple hurdle approach to food safety as part of TreeHouse Management Operating System (TMOS).

Leadership & Workforce Development

3:55 PM - 4:30 PM - Solution Spotlights

Quality Assurance & Microbiology

Improving Quality Standards in the 21st Century

  • Ultra-sensitive colour detection in the food and beverage industry  
  • Automated visual inspection and removal for soft fruit 
  • Advances in X-ray examination 
  • Challenges in snack foods inspection

4:35 PM - 5:20 PM - Keynote

Leadership & Workforce Development

Transformational Leadership. The Key to Advancing Mainstream Food Safety Systems

Adeniyi Odugbemi, PhD, Global Director of food safety & food defense, ADM

Effective leaders listen, guide, and motivate others to use change as a positive force to explore innovation and inspire action. Transformational leaders are the heart of inventive, meaningful, and sustainable change in food processing. Transformational leaders focus less on making decisions or establishing strategic plans, and more on facilitating organizational collaboration that can help drive a vision forward.  This makes leadership very important to business growth and success. The role of having the right leadership to shepherd the adoption of the right food safety systems and culture in the food industry value chain is vital in the quest for food safety, food security, and food sustainability. This presentation will expose how food facilities leaders and the entire food value chain can adopt the right systems and appropriate leadership concepts alongside integrity mantras that are vital for the future of the industry. Wise leaders tune into workplace culture trends and plan to help their organization and employees flourish. The front-line manager is the key link between the employee and the organization. This presentation will further define how a strong connection is at the heart of employee retention in the workplace. As you think about these trends and how they impact your organization, how can leaders prepare themselves and their team for this rapidly evolving season? This presentation will review assumptions about high-impact strategies that are worth investing time and resources in pursuing. High impact means the effort aims to change the mindset that created the organization or system of organizations.

5:25 PM - 5:30 PM

Chair's Closing Remarks & End of Day 1

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Evening Drinks Reception

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM

Registration & Refreshments

8:45 AM - 8:50 AM

Chair’s Opening Remarks

8:50 AM - 9:25 AM - Keynote

Leadership & Workforce Development

Emerging Market Entry Strategies: How to Establish a Foundation of Trust

  • How best to overcome the challenges faced when expanding into emerging markets 
  • What risks need to be mitigated when doing business in emerging markets? 
  • Maintaining your manufacturing quality and food safety in a country with lower standards

9:25 AM - 10:00 AM - Keynote

Technology & IoT

Food Safety in The News: Fighting the Social Media War

Adeniyi Odugbemi, PhD, Global Director of food safety & food defense, ADM

New regulations, incidences, new technologies, and other happenings continue to shape the way food businesses are operated and the impact that food has on the lives of consumers. The diffusion of online fake news about food is becoming increasingly fast-paced and widespread, making it more difficult for the public to recognize reliable information. Reported news and the transmission of information across social media sites continue to deploy negative media trends. Misinformation about food processing and handling practices has had a negative impact on consumption patterns and created anxiety among consumers. These events deal with the negative impact of what has been categorized as fake news and rumors, which have particularly impacted the purchasing and consumption pattern of consumers.  In a fast-globalizing world where food is a necessity of life, the news in one part of the World easily makes the headlines in other regions fast!! And yet, despite better connections and a more informed public, no one is on the same page with fact-finding the erroneous information and having a major campaign of verified topics. Unfortunately, unverified and baseless information is increasingly being disseminated and accessed through social media applications. Food industry experts have urged authorities need to monitor inaccurate reports and put out clarifications as soon as possible on social media showing that food safety and quality parameter are non-negotiable.  This presentation will evaluate how food handlers can mitigate information on social media content on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The presentation will discuss the many ways unverified contest is affecting the food business.

10:05 AM - 10:40 AM - Solution Spotlights

Technology & IoT

Solution Spotlight by Zaptic

  • Abstract TBC

Quality Assurance & Microbiology

Take Out the Guesswork – Characterising Flavour and Applying Sensory Science to the Assessment of Food Quality

  • Examining the key attributes that determine food quality 
  • How to scientifically assess quality using analytical data and electronic tools: considering gas chromatography-olfactometry and chemical sensor technologies (electronics noses and tongues)  
  • Data from various sensory methods: weighing up the various options 

10:40 AM - 11:40 AM

iSolve Meetings & Networking Refreshments

11:40 AM - 12:15 PM - Case Studies

Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Operations & Facilities

USDA-ARS Food Safety Interventions Research

Brendan Niemira, Research Leader of the Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Unit, USDA

  • USDA food scientists developing new intervention technologies.
  • Improve food safety and shelf life while retaining quality and nutritional value.
  • Case studies of cold plasma, radio frequency pasteurization, and active packaging.
Foodborne pathogens cause millions of illnesses every year. A variety of intervention technologies have been advanced in recent years to expand on the suite of tools available to food processors. At the US Department of Agriculture’s Eastern Regional Research Center near Philadelphia, PA, scientists and engineers have focused on developing new ways to improve food safety and shelf life while retaining quality and nutritional value. This presentation will give an overview of this research, presenting case studies on newer approaches such as cold plasma, high intensity light treatments, radio frequency pasteurization, and active packaging.

Quality Assurance & Microbiology

12:20 PM - 12:55 PM - Case Studies

Leadership & Workforce Development

How Quality and Food Safety Culture, Programs and Technology Together Can Deliver Best-in-Class Performance

Arnie Sair, Head of Global Quality & Food Safety, Bunge

Quality Assurance & Microbiology

The New Era of the Food Safety Executive

Debby L. Core, Vice President QA/QC, Food Safety, and Compliance, Munger Farms

  • Abstract TBC

12:55 PM - 1:55 PM

Networking Lunch

1:55 PM - 2:30 PM - Case Studies

Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Operations & Facilities

Topic TBC: Balancing Food Safety with Sustainability

Leadership & Workforce Development

Standardizing Growth: Creating New Pathways for Changing Culture

Melanie Braam​, Director of Quality Assurance, Palermo's Pizza

  • Exploring leadership turnover, lessons in strategy from the greats, and gaining trust
  • Rebuilding department structure and clearly defining roles and goals
  • Exploring Lean Manufacturing and Quality Culture

2:35 PM - 3:10 PM - Case Studies

Quality Assurance & Microbiology

Uniting to Achieve Supreme Sanitation

Erin Garcia, Food Safety Scientist, Taco Bell

  • Collaborating with team and partners to achieve common goals
  • Using existing resources to enhance procedures
  • Utilizing programs to verify progress

Quality Assurance & Microbiology

3:15 PM - 3:50 PM - Case Studies

Safety, Compliance and Risk Management

Global Allergen Labelling and Claims Compliance – Taking a Closer Look at Global Differences

Miriam Maxwell, Research Fellow, Global Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, Ocean Spray Cranberries

  • Outlining the addition of sesame as a major food allergen and the global community’s increased focus on allergens;
  • Outlining current USA and Canada allergens and considering what else may join the list in the future?   
  • Determining the implications of the addition of sesame to the FDA’s allergens list;
  • Detailing internationally listed allergens, specifically in: Australia/New Zealand, Japan, EU, Taiwan and Russia 
  • Examining how international definitions of gluten free may vary in different countries

Quality Assurance & Microbiology

Public Safety Threats from Antibiotic Use

  • Threats to public health from antibiotic over use 
  • Why do we use antibiotics so frequently?  
  • Maintaining livestock health without antibiotic use 

3:55 PM - 4:30 PM - Keynote

Leadership & Workforce Development

What a Best-in-Class Risk Assessment Looks Like in 2023

  • How a comprehensive risk analysis differs from a hazard analysis 
  • Analysing products, processes and procedures   
  • Ensuring every stakeholder in the process is involved and knows what they need to do 
  • Utilising quantitative data – red flags to watch for 

4:30 PM - 4:40 PM

Chair's Closing Remarks & End of Conference