Food safety experts to discuss challenges and solutions

The California Strawberry Commission (CSC) is hosting the California Strawberry Food Safety Summit Feb. 6 at the Monterey Conference Center.

“With renewed emphasis on food safety, the commission continues its leadership role in helping growers produce safe, wholesome strawberries,” says CSC president Mark Murai.

This unique educational summit will bring together California strawberry industry leaders, prominent experts and regulators who are responding on the front lines of food safety crises.

The event will run from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Scheduled program speakers are:

– Anita Highsmith, former Head of Water Quality Laboratories, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

– Dr. Jeff Farrar, chief Food Safety Section, California Department of Health Services.

– H. Gordon Cox, director of Investigations Branch, Pacific Region, Food & Drug Administration.

– Mike Villaneva, inspection manager, Food Safety Section, California Department of Food & Agriculture/Researcher, Western Institute for Food Safety & Security.

– Sean Fitzgerald, partner/managing director: Issues & Crisis Management, Ketchum West, California Strawberry Commission Crisis Team.

A leading priority of the California Strawberry Commission, food safety is integrated into all program areas. First adapted in 1998, and fully revised in 2005, the commission’s food safety program builds on good agricultural practices, tailoring them to the specific needs of the strawberry industry. In fact, part of that concentrated effort led to the formation of a new Issues and Food Safety Committee last fall.

Information booths will be open throughout the event. The Monterey Conference Center is located at One Portola Plaza, Monterey.

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