Michelle is a Professor and Extension Specialist of Food Safety and Microbiology in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Florida (UF) in the USA.
Her current research and extension interests include microbial food safety and quality, emphasizing the microbiology of fruit juices, fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts. Her extension program includes programs targeted to the food industry related to US Food Safety Regulations, including HACCP and GAPs (Good Agricultural Practices).
She received the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Richard Jones Outstanding New Faculty Research Award in 2011, an Excellence Award for Assistant Professors in 2013, a Research Foundation Professorship Award in 2015, and a University Term Professorship in 2019. She received the Larry Beuchat Young Researcher Award in 2010 and a Presidents Recognition Award in 2011, 2013, 2017, and 2019 from the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP).
Michelle was elected a member of the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Food (ICMSF) in 2016 and to the IAFP Executive Board in 2019.
Managing Risk in a Field of Uncertainty: Foodborne Pathogens in Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
The UN General Assembly has designated 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, to raise awareness on the important role these commodities play in human nutrition, food security and health, as well as in achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals. While part of a healthy diet, fruits and vegetables are also frequent contributors to foodborne illness, and can contaminated with foodborne hazards at a number of points along their value chain. Within the US alone, fresh fruits and vegetables led to 85 outbreaks with confirmed etiology from 2010 – 2017. Unlike products that are processed or cooked, fresh fruits and vegetables are consumed raw with little or no processing meaning that there are very few, if any, processes steps to reduce microbial food contamination. Thus, food safety programs for fresh fruits and vegetables focus almost entirely on preventing contamination. This presentation will discuss frequently identified sources of foodborne pathogens, routes of contamination onto fresh fruits and vegetables, and mitigation strategies that can be used to help manage risk.
Dr. Donaghy is currently Head of Food Safety at Corporate Quality, Nestlé Switzerland. He previously spent 3 years as Senior Food Safety Microbiologist in Nestlé R&D. Prior to joining Nestlé (2011), worked (15 yrs) as Project Leader in food safety microbiology at Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI), N. Ireland, and was formerly Head of Government pathogen analytical laboratory.
He is a member of the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF), holds BSc (Biochemistry), Ph.D. (industrial microbiology) and an MBA.
Dr. Donaghy's current responsibilities include global operational aspects of food safety microbiology, hygiene, allergens and other prerequisite programs across >400 factories and multiple food categories. He leads a team of global experts in HACCP, hygiene and thermal processing, overseeing horizontal implementation of key Nestlé food safety and quality programs at market and factory level.
Water Reuse in food manufacturing: Ensuring its Safety and Quality
As water is a scarce resource, an increasing number of food manufacturers are reusing different types of water for different purposes, as part of their water conservation, environmental protection and sustainability efforts.
Water reuse can include water reclaimed from food, e.g. milk water, water recycled from food operations or recirculated in a closed loop system. Such reused/recycled water can be used for many different purposes, many of which should not necessarily require use of potable water.
Typical uses of water in a food establishment includes water for technical purposes, e.g. irrigation, boiler water, sanitary water; water used for indirect product contact purpose, e.g. cooling tanks, intermediary rinse cycles or as product ingredient. Clearly the food safety risks associated with each of these uses will differ and must be assessed accordingly to ensure food and occupational safety. Compliance to regulatory requirements must also be assured.
The presentation will focus on a risk-based approach constructed on the HACCP principles to ensure fit-for-purpose water in the across different food manufacturing environments. It will describe some of the technical requirements and mitigation technologies applied as part of the risk-based approach to ensure hazards, including microbiological, chemical and physical are addressed.
Frank Yiannas is the Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He is the principal advisor to the FDA Commissioner on food safety policies, including the implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. His leadership role covers a broad spectrum, such as outbreak response, traceback investigations, product recall activities, and supply chain innovation. Mr. Yiannas came to the FDA from leadership roles with Walmart and the Walt Disney Company. He has long been recognized for his role in elevating food safety standards and building food safety management systems based on science and risk.
His experiences in the food safety arena have also made him an advocate for the promotion of a Food Safety Culture to protect the world’s food supply, arguing that science and policy alone are not enough. Advancing food safety also requires an understanding of organizational culture and principles of human behaviour. Engaging on this level to help shape an organization’s culture is the subject of his books Food Safety Culture, Creating a Behavior-based Food Safety Management System, and Food Safety = Behavior, 30 Proven Techniques to Enhance Employee Compliance.
Mr. Yiannas is a past president of the International Association for Food Protection and a past vice-chairman of the Global Food Safety Initiative. He is also an adjunct Professor in the Food Safety Program at Michigan State University, and in 2017 was awarded the MSU Outstanding Faculty Award.
A microbiologist, Mr. Yiannas received a B.S. in microbiology from the University of Central Florida and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of South Florida.
Elsabe Matthee is the FSSC 22000 Technical Manager. She started her career in the food industry, working mostly in the quality assurance and technical environments in the fresh fruit industry. In the past 15 years she has worked for two large international Certification Bodies (CBs) and was responsible for third party Food and Agricultural Certification across the majority of the GFSI schemes and local schemes.
A key part of the certification responsibility included scheme management, interaction with global partner offices, managing auditors, interaction with Accreditation Bodies (ABs) and Scheme Owners as well as maintaining the accreditation and the QMS for ISO17065 and ISO17021-1. During this time she was also a lead auditor for the major GFSI Schemes.
In 2020 Elsabe took up the role of Technical Manager for FSSC 22000. A key element of this role is to maintain and develop the FSSC Scheme as part of continuous improvement and to provide support to CBs, ABs and Training Organizations.
FSSC 22000 Version 5.1 update
As part of the process of continual improvement, FSSC 22000 has published a new revision of its Scheme in Version 5.1, which becomes mandatory for all audits as of 1 April 2021. The updates in the new Version include revisions to specifically strengthen the integrity program to ensure the consistency and reliability of FSSC 22000 certification, the incorporation of the requirements from the Board of Stakeholders Decision list and elements that have been added to maintain compliance with the GFSI Benchmarking requirements (Version 2020.1).
The main changes impacting organizations include requirements on new product development, PRP verification, requirements for multi-site certification and minimum audit duration. The Foundation has also developed a guidance document on Food Safety Culture, that shows how the GFSI requirement relating to food safety culture are met in ISO 22000: 2018.
Version 5.1 also supports different audit delivery methods, including on-site audits, blended audits and full remote audits, whilst still ensuring the robustness of the audit process.
Ryk Lues is currently Professor in Food Safety and Regional Innovation in the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences at the Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State, South Africa.
He is Director of the Centre for Applied Food Safety and – Biotechnology (CAFSaB), the largest research entity at the university, as well as Coordinator of the DST Regional Innovation Forum for the Free State Province, a platform mandated to facilitate discourse amongst various academic, business and regulatory stakeholders in the regional innovation value chain.
He holds an MSc (Microbiology) and a PhD (Food Science) from the University of the Free State and is Professional Natural Scientist affiliated with the South Africa Council for Natural and Scientific Professions (SACNASP).
Karin Carstensen joined Woolworths nearly 30 years ago, after completing her BSc Food Science at Stellenbosch University.
In her current role Karin is responsible for:
Janusz holds degrees in both Chemical Engineering from the University of Pretoria and Law from UNISA and is a registered Attorney, Patent Attorney, and a Professional Engineer. In 1997 Janusz became a partner of Hahn & Hahn attorneys, a boutique law firm founded in 1951 and specializing in technology law and intellectual property law. Janusz is a Custodian Member of the South African Association for Food Science and Technology (SAAFoST) as well as sitting on the Food Law Advisory Group of the Department of Health.
Prof Pieter Gouws is a Professor of Food Microbiology in the Department of Food Science at Stellenbosch University, deputy dean – teaching and learning at the faculty of AgriSciences. He had spent some time as an international research fellow at the University of Nottingham, studying the effects of PCR inhibitors in complex food samples. Prof Gouws is also the South African representative on the International Commission of Food Microbiology and Hygiene (2008 to present). His current research interests focuses on novel and innovative applications for the detection and control of unwanted bacteria in food, improvement of food safety and food quality, novel processing technologies and antibiotic resistance of foodborne bacteria. He is the author of various international scientific papers and train undergraduate and postgraduate students in the field of Food Microbiology and Food Safety. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Centre for Food Safety at Stellenbosch University which he currently leads.
Dr. John Spink is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Supply Chain Management in the Eli Broad Business College at Michigan State University (USA) where he redeveloped and teaches all sections of "Introduction to Supply Chain Management" and a section "Procurement and Supply Chain Management."
Since 2013 he has been the Director of the Food Fraud Initiative. Previously he was an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminal Justice in the College of Social Science at MSU from 2009 to 2013 and then from 2013 to 2019 as an Assistant Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicines support food safety activities with a focus on food fraud prevention. From 2005 to 2019 he developed and taught graduate courses including Packaging for Food Safety, Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (Food Fraud), and Quantifying Food Risk. He is widely published in leading academic journals including "Defining the Public Health Threat of Food Fraud," "Defining the Types of Counterfeiters, Counterfeiting, and Offender Organizations," "Introduction of the Food Fraud Initial Screening Method (FFIS). His 2019 publication Food Fraud Prevention was the first textbook on the topic.
His leadership positions include product fraud related activities with "ISO 22000 Food Safety" and "TC292 Security Management/ Fraud Countermeasure," GFSI Food Fraud Think Tank, and U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP). Global activities include engagements with the European Commission, INTERPOL and Operation Opson, New Zealand MPI, Codex Alimentarius, WHO/FAO, and served as an Advisor on Food Fraud to the Chinese National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA).
Dr. Miller received his secondary education at the University of New Brunswick, before studying at the University of Portsmouth in England, where he was also a NATO Science Postdoctoral Fellow. His post-university career at Agriculture Canada, and became head of the Fusarium mycotoxin program in 1988. He became a Professor & NSERC Research Chair in fungal toxins and allergens at Carleton University in 2000. From 1999-2008, he was a visiting scientist and science advisor at Health Canada in the air health effects division. Among other tasks, Dr. Miller helped to draft the guidelines for mold and dampness published by Health Canada. Over the past 30 years, he has co-managed many large studies of housing and health.
Dr. Miller has published >350 papers on fungi and fungal toxins and has co-written 10 books on the public health aspects of exposures to fungi, and has several patents. He participated in International Agency for Research on Cancer Monographs 56 and 86, and a panel leading to an IARC publication on mycotoxins and public health (Scientific Publication 158). He was a member of the drafting committee of the World Health Organization IPCS monograph on fumonisin B1. He was a member of the Toxicology Study Selection and Review Committee that considers compounds nominated by the US Food and Drug Administration to the National Toxicology Program. He chaired a WHO panel on fungal toxins in developing countries and coedited the final report “Mycotoxin Control in Low- and Middle-Income Countries” (2016). He was a member of the 83rd Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants (WHO/FAO; 2016-18). He has received numerous awards for his work in toxicology and industrial hygiene.
Mycotoxins: still with us after all these years
Mycotoxin contamination of staple crops is a substantial economic problem worldwide. Aside from direct damage in bad years, the cost of required testing on an annual basis is large. In addition, when regions are not able to produce acceptable crops each year, the value chain moves elsewhere. In much of Africa, as well as parts of Latin America and East Asia exposures are often well above tolerable limits and thus represent a substantial public health concern. There are five fungal toxins that have a significant impact on the agricultural economy and food safety: aflatoxin, deoxynivalenol, fumonisin, zearalenone (1962) and ochratoxin A. South African researchers discovered two of these compounds, ochratoxin A and fumonisin. On a global basis, climate variability is moving these toxins into new areas and serious contamination is happening more often in some parts of the world. With the notable exception of ochratoxin A, the WHO and national authorities generally agree on tolerable exposures to the important mycotoxins. Their toxicities and basic information on the impact of processing on the various toxins are well understood. Approaches to reduce risk to end users have been developed but are fallible. Aside from the impact of changing climate, the principal fungi that produce aflatoxin and deoxynivalenol have fairly recently demonstrated a capacity for genetic change. In the case of the deoxynivalenol-producing fungus, this has resulted in populations that make previously unknown compounds. Responding to these changes will continue to occupy the sector for the next decades.
I am currently Associate-Professor and Head of the Department of Food Science, Stellenbosch University, South Africa. I am an active researcher in the field of food processing, food processing wastewater treatment, sustainable water use in the food industry, but mainly in food safety of irrigated fresh produce and irrigation water disinfection systems. I am particularly interested in the inter-relatedness of many scientific disciplines within food science, specifically related to food and nutrition security. I’m passionate about teaching and promoting the importance of food science in achieving food and nutrition security. I am also actively involved in food science association management, both locally (SAAFoST) and internationally (IFT).
Irrigation Water Safety and the Impact on Food Safety of Fresh Produce Systems: Status and Where to From Here?
Fresh produce-related disease outbreaks have increased globally in the last two decades. It has been reported that in the USA between 1998 and 2008, 46% of all foodborne outbreaks were associated with fresh produce. Microbial carry-over from irrigation water to crop has been flagged as a possible cause of many of these foodborne disease outbreaks. The most commonly associated pathogens implicated in fresh produce-related outbreaks include Escherichia coli (E. coli), Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella species (spp.), viruses and parasites.
Research has been done at Stellenbosch University and University of Pretoria since 2007 looking into the type and prevalence of microbial contamination of rivers used for fresh produce irrigation, carry-over onto fresh produce, fresh produce contamination and the links with irrigation water, anti-microbial resistance of these micro-organisms to chemicals and antibiotics as well as possible treatments to reduce the levels of microbial contamination in irrigation water.
This presentation will endeavour to present the most significant findings of this research of the past 15 years and highlight future research and recommendations. These findings and recommendations include:
Revisions need to be made to irrigation water quality guidelines to include specific microorganism, especially certain pathogens
René Crevel runs a consultancy centred on food allergens and their management, following a career at Unilever, where he was responsible for advice and guidance on food allergy and allergen risk assessment and management to Unilever Companies, and for leading Unilever’s food allergy research programme. He also represented the company in the major EU food allergy projects Europrevall and iFAAM. He holds appointments at the University of Manchester and the University of Nebraska. He also serves on the UK’s Committee on Toxicity (COT). He is Scientific Advisor to ILSI-Europe’s Food Allergy Task Force, which he chaired from 2006 - 2017.
Allergens as a food safety hazard: an international perspective
The Codex Alimentarius formally recognised food allergens as a food safety issue over 20 years ago. Thus the amended General Standard for the Labelling of Prepackaged Foods stipulated the mandatory declaration of a core set of allergenic foods (commonly known as the “Big 8”) whenever they were used in a product. Legislation quickly followed in several regions across the world. However some of those regions and their constituent jurisdictions have not limited themselves to the Codex list. This situation reflects the diversity of the epidemiology and local importance of allergenic foods, confirmed by several international studies, for example Europrevall, funded by the European Union. This diversity poses challenges for people with food allergy, as well for the management of the food safety issues to which it gives rise beyond accurate labelling, such as dealing with unintended allergen presence (UAP) and the use of precautionary allergen labelling (PAL) to which it has given rise in an effort to mitigate the consequent risk. The European Union first introduced allergen labelling in 2004, based on 12 allergenic foods or food groups, but also providing a mechanism for exemption of derivatives for which it could be scientifically demonstrated that they were not likely to trigger reactions in people with the relevant food allergy. This legislation was further updated in 2011, including a clause to regulate the use of PAL, although to date it has not become operational.
Dr. Farber is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph, in Guelph, Ontario. He is also President of an international consulting firm, which does food safety consulting with various organizations and countries, and a senior advisor to Index Biosystems, a Canadian biotechnology company working in the area of food traceability and authenticity.
Dr. Jeff Farber most recently was employed as a Full Professor in the Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph, in Guelph, Ontario, where he was Director of the Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety. Previous to that, he was the Director of the Bureau of Microbial Hazards in the Food Directorate of Health Canada, where he led a group of about 60 people working in various areas of microbial food safety, and was instrumental in advancing the development of policy approaches on emerging microbial food safety issues in Canada and at a global level.
Dr. Farber has over 180 publications, plus numerous Book Chapters and has edited 4 books. He was Associate Editor of the International Journal of Food Microbiology for many years and has been on a number of Journal Editorial Boards. Dr. Farber is a Past-President of the IAFP and Executive Director of the ICMSF. Dr. Farber also has extensive experience working at the international level.
Dr. Farber has received numerous personal and team awards, most recently in 2020, winning 3 awards from the International Association for Food Protection, and being nominated as a Fellow for The International Union of Food Science and Technology. In 2009, he won one of the highest awards presented to Federal Public Health Officials, the Prime Minister’s Outstanding Achievement Award, for his work as the lead scientist for Health Canada on the deli-meat listeriosis outbreak. He also was recently honored for his contributions to both our understanding of Listeria and the advancement of food safety, by having a new species of Listeria named after him - Listeria farberi.
Listeria monocytogenes – a dangerous foodborne pathogen revisited
Listeria monocytogenes is an important foodborne pathogen, which continues to cause large foodborne outbreaks globally. In many of these outbreaks, we have not learned our lessons of how best to control this pathogen. Of particular note is the outbreak which occurred in South Africa, in 2017/18, linked to the consumption of RTE meat products, which caused greater than 1,000 illnesses and 200 deaths. The latter outbreak is the largest and deadliest outbreak of listeriosis recorded to-date. Rapid developments in the area of genomics have led to new tools being available to characterize isolates of L. monocytogenes. These new developments in diagnostics and the continuing evolution of the epidemiology of listeriosis outbreaks, has also led FAO/WHO JEMRA to undertake new work on L. monocytogenes in RTE foods. In addition, a recent publication argues for alternative approaches to the risk management of L. monocytogenes in low-risk foods. All of these topics will be discussed with the overall goal of revisiting L. monocytogenes in light of new information. Some of the advancements that will be discussed should allow us to better risk manage this pathogen in the future.
Suchart Chaven is PepsiCo Food Safety Director for Global Beverage, Global Concentrate Solutions, and North America Beverage Sector, based in Valhalla, NY. Suchart is a member of PepsiCo’s Food Safety Center of Excelence Team, supportiing Food Safety Innovation and Food Safety Compliance, and Senior leadership for the PepsiCo Global Microbiology Council. Additionally, Suchart leads multinational Teams to adress Global Sustainability concerns for ensuring safety for water reuse and recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET)
Prior to NY, Suchart, based in Dubai, was responsible for the development of people and process capabilities and lead strategies to minimize Food Safety Risks across across Africa, Asia, China, India, and the Middle East.
Suchart has over 35 years of industry experience in Food Safety, Microbiology, Quality, and R&D in multinational companies (PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Nabisco, Unilever, Rowntree Macintosh, and M&M Mars) and serves as a member of The International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF).
Historically, pathogenic microorganisms such as E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella spp. have been associated as potential contaminants in food processing and handling environments. Microorganisms may be introduced into the food processing and handling environment through raw materials, air, water, people, and pests. Usually, the routine applications of good sanitation practices can control these microorganisms to an acceptable level. However, if the contamination levels are high or sanitation procedures are inadequate, microorganisms may establish and can contaminate food products leading to foodborne illness outbreak.
The application of an Environmental Monitoring Program (EMP) can assess the effectiveness of the overall hygienic practices in a food processing facility and provide necessary information to prevent possible microbial contamination of food products. This is particularly relevant to food processing where there are potential for post pathogen reduction (or kill step) environmental exposure where relevant pathogens may survive of grow in the food products.
The primary objectives of Environmental Monitoring EMP program are (i) to verify the effectiveness of sanitation and zoning controls and (ii) to direct activities and corrective actions to prevent the potential for pathogen cross contamination from the process environment to the product.
This lecture provides a practical approach towards using Environmental Monitoring as a verification program to prevent cross contamination as well as key components and implementation strategies for the program.
Elmé has been working in the food safety industry for the last 20 years, including conducting food safety audits, offering training and setting and maintaining standards. She enjoys working with all the GLOBALG.A.P. stakeholders to develop fit for purpose standards and products such as localg.a.p. for local markets allowing market access to all producers. In addition, Elmé is a member of the Global Food Safety Initiative Stakeholder Advisory Forum, representing the interests of primary production certification program owners.
GLOBALG.A.P., the leading primary production certification brand is always looking how it can improve certification at farm level. How can the auditing experience be enhanced, how can it help the farmer, what can be done to help the certification bodies to make the process more efficient and what is absolutely necessary to ensure due diligence throughout the supply chain. While food safety remains one of the core aspects of the Integrated Farm Assurance standards in the revision process which is currently under way, focus is also drawn to environmental sustainability. A producer should not have to receive more than one audit to show that they are producing safe and sustainable food. Tools such as GLOBALG.A.P. remote is a new tool that emerged out of the pandemic and ways to improve and ensure acceptability enjoys preference.
Dr Lisa O’ Connor has been working with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) for over 20 years. She is currently the Chief Specialist in Biological Safety, managing the team responsible for surveillance and risk assessment of biological hazards and providing technical support to FSAI’s Scientific Committee. She has worked on controlling Campylobacter in broilers for many years, providing scientific input to risk assessment, research and surveillance work and participating on risk management stakeholder groups. She is a member of the European Food Safety Authority’s networks on Microbial Risk Assessment and Zoonoses Monitoring Data and has contributed to the European Commission’s working group on Microbiological Criteria for Foodstuffs. Her academic background includes a BSc in Food Microbiology from University College Cork, where she attained her PhD in Molecular Biology.