For the first time ever, the Almond Quality and Food Safety Symposium is headed south. The annual event will be held on Aug. 1 at the Visalia Convention Center. This year, the food safety buzz has centered on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and more specifically on how this will impact our farming, hulling/shelling and handling operations.
We are pleased that Barbara Cassens, of the federal Food and Drug Administration regional office in San Francisco, will be joining us at the symposium. She will provide us with a better understanding of the timeline associated with the rollout of FSMA, and give us insight to help minimize disruption to our operations. We will also hear from speakers who will translate practical experience into useful food safety tips.
Dr. Linda Harris, UC Davis, will provide research updates on practices that affect the growth of pathogens in the orchard and on the tree. And Louise Huebschman, from Kellogg’s, will share the “must haves” for any company interested in becoming a supplier to the food manufacturing industry.
We will also hear from Marc Sanchez of the Food Court website, who will discuss his experience with regulatory audits, and more importantly, how handlers should respond when they receive an FDA warning letter.
Food safety in America is at a crossroads. Whether you are a grower or a handler, you will gain much from attending this symposium. (For program information, see related article in this issue.)
Brian Dunning, Chair
Almond Quality and Food Safety Committee