RESTON, Va. – The mini-conference on E. coli, Validation and Emerging Issues for Beef Processors will be held on March 17 at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, Ill., before the start of the Meat Industry Management Conference. The announcement was made by the sponsors — the North American Meat Processors Association (NAMP) and seven other meat industry associations.

The program will be held from noon to 6 pm CST, so attendees can arrive at the hotel in the morning of the mini-conference and save the cost of another room night.

This conference continues NAMP’s successful partnership with major industry associations to jointly offer food-safety conferences for North American beef processors that have educated hundreds of people over the past several years. Sponsoring organizations said it will help beef processors prepare for the critical challenges they face now and in the future.

Featured speakers include:

  • Kerri Harris, Ph.D., president and CEO, International HACCP Alliance
  • Dan Engeljohn Ph.D., assistant administrator, Office of Policy and Program Development, Food Safety & Inspection Service
  • Justin Ransom, Ph.D., AVP, Food Protection and Government Affairs, OSI Group, LLC
  • Mohammad Koohmaraie, Ph.D., CEO, Meat Division, IEH Laboratories & Consulting Group

The program features:

  • Validating controls in beef-safety systems – Validation continues to be a hot topic for FSIS and the industry alike. This session will include the latest information on what further processors are expected to do to show they have a validated system. (Harris).
  • FSIS perspective on pathogens of concern in beef – This session provides the important perspective of the regulators. It promises to be informative and insightful as to what processors can expect from FSIS. (Engeljohn).
  • Understanding and addressing non-O157 STECs – Includes information on the implication non-O157 STECs can have for the beef industry. FSIS has indicated its intention to consider expanding the adulterant policy to include this group of pathogens. The first recall from a non-O157 STEC occurred in 2010. (Ransom).
  • The significance of multi-drug resistant (MDR) Salmonella – Focuses on the impact these pathogens have on human health and the beef industry, and what further processors need to know to ensure the safety of their products. (Koohmaraie).
  • Special ‘new technologies’ presentations by representatives of major industry suppliers.

Attendees are being urged to stay for the two-day Meat Industry Management Conference to hear USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety, Dr. Elisabeth Hagen on the opening day. This is a great opportunity for people to hear directly from the top official for food safety at USDA. The second day focuses on foodservice trends, marketing and red meat market outlook issues.

The early registration discount ends March 1. For more information, visit Members of the following sponsor organizations qualify for lower registration rates: NAMP, American Association of Meat Processors, American Meat Institute Foundation, American Meat Science Association, Chicago Mid-West Meat Association, National Meat Association, Southeastern Meat Association and the Southwest Meat Association.