Food Safety Modernization Act Gets Focus At Commissioner's Forum

Food-related disaster recovery efforts will also get attention at 2011 event.

Published on: Aug 4, 2011

An annual food safety event in North Carolina will focus this year on the new federal Food Safety Modernization Act.

This is the seventh Commissioner's Food Safety Forum which is scheduled yearly. It will be held Monday, Aug 22 at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center in Research Triangle Park.

The Food Safety Modernization Act, signed into law on Jan. 4th by President Barack Obama is currently in the process of being implemented.  A government Internet site dedicated to the Act notes it is designed "to ensure the food supply is safe by shifting the focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination to preventing it."

"The forum is a unique networking and educational opportunity for anyone interested in food safety," says N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.

Commissioner Troxler will host the event from 8:30 a.m. to noon in conjunction with the N.C. Agribusiness Council's Ag Leaders Conference. Admission to the Food Safety Forum is free and lunch will be provided.

The Food Safety and Modernization Act was prompted by a number of food contamination events that came about during the 2000s.  Some of those widely publicized cases of contamination involved beef, spinach, cookie dough and peanut butter. As a result the Congress wrote the new law and creating new regulatory authorities for the Food and Drug Administration.

In addition to the Food Safety Modernization Act, the Commissioner's Food Safety Forum will also address the continuing refinement of public and private food-related disaster recovery efforts, and the latest industry efforts targeting food safety risks.

Keynote speakers are Dr. Steven Solomon, deputy associate commissioner for regulatory affairs at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Dr. Bob Gravari, director of the National Good Agricultural Practices Program at Cornell University; and Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, executive director of the Center for Produce Safety at the University of California at Davis.

Even though admission to the Food Safety Forum is free, registration is encouraged. To register, go online to www.ncagr.gov/ncfoodsafetyforum or contact Chrissy Waggett at (919) 707-3008.

Learn more about the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act on the Internet by visiting http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/FSMA/default.htm