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Banana Leaves

Food Safety

8:40 - 9:00 am
Effects of COVID-19 on the Food Supply Chain

Barbara VanRertarten.jpg

​Speaker Profile:

Barbara VanRenterghem, Ph.D., is the current director, editorial, at Lux Research. Previously, she served as the editorial director of Food Safety Magazine, a position she held from 2008 to 2021. From 2005–2008, she was the chief editor of Controlled Environments Magazine and the science editor of Animal Lab News and Lab Manager Magazine at Vicon Publishing. At Eaton Publishing (1999–2005), she rose from the positions of assistant scientific editor for BioTechniques and acquisitions editor for BioTechniques Press to the editor of content development and acquisitions and director of commercial product development. While at Eaton (then acquired by Informa), she served as the chief editor of Preclinica. She received a B.Sc. in biology in 1989 from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology in 1994 from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.


      Supply chains were and continue to be dramatically disrupted due to the pandemic, both globally and domestically, and the food distribution chain was no exception. Starting with food processors and the close working conditions of the processing environment, we saw the challenges faced by an industry considered part of the world’s critical infrastructure and how it became hamstrung by the lack of availability of materials to protect their workers and the normal recipients (e.g., food service establishments) of their products. The food industry’s lack of adaptability to rapidly pivot to alternative product formulations and outlets was a significant pain point, one that is still problematic today.

      Barbara will discuss the vulnerabilities of the food supply chain that were magnified during the pandemic, the potential risks to food safety, successful adaptations the food industry made in response, and the current gaps that remain.

 9:00 - 9:20 am
Effects of the Pandemic on
Personal Hygiene Practices: What’s Next?

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Speaker Profile:

Dr. Angela Anandappa has been a member of IAFP for many years and has served as a Vice-Chair and is the current Chairperson of Food Chemical Hazards and Food Allergy PDG. She leads the Alliance for Advanced Sanitation and teaches food science and food safety risk management at Northeastern University. She has previously held positions as a research professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, at Kraft Foods (Section Manager, Supply Chain Food Safety), led the Food Systems Innovation Center in Kentucky, Biotechnology companies such as Vector Biotechnologies, Agilent Biotechnologies, and Operon (part of Eurofins). Angela’s first IAFP meeting was in 1999. Dr. Anandappa earned her Ph.D. in Food Microbiology from the University of Kentucky


       The past years will be remembered as the year handwashing became a practice to embrace. Personal hygiene has long been a pillar of food safety; the coronavirus pandemic not only created massive global awareness campaigns for handwashing but also provided food safety practitioners a platform for driving hygienic practices as the simple yet undisputed foundation of public health.

9:20 - 9:40 am
After the Pandemic –
What Changes Are Likely to Stick?

Bob Ferguson.jpg

​Speaker Profile:

Bob Ferguson is a contributing author of the Food Safety Insights column in Food Safety Magazine and is a member of the Food Safety Magazine Editorial Advisory Board.  Bob is also President of Strategic Consulting, Inc., a company that since 1996 has been the leading resource for market information in industrial diagnostics and global microbiology markets in food and beverage safety.  Bob has more than 30 years of experience in microbiology, manufacturing, and laboratory businesses. 


       Supply chains are critical to food safety, yet their resilience has been sorely tested in the past two years due to the pandemic.  While traceability and supply chain stability have been widely discussed topics in recent years, the onset and recovery from COVID has exposed weaknesses and made even more visible the business risks you face from an unstable supply chain.  So food processors and their suppliers are rethinking their strategy.  Many aspects of supply chain management will likely be changed forever, and this means Just-in-Time will be replaced by “Just-in-Case,” more supply chain control will mean more, not fewer, suppliers, and why “virtual” is here to stay and in more ways than previously envisioned.

9:40 - 10:00 am
Where Do We Go From Here?
Reimaging the Global Food Supply System

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​Speaker Profile:

Cathleen Howick has over 30 years of experience in the dietary supplement industry. Her work has included almost all aspects of Quality Control and Quality Assurance, including microbiologist, quality engineer, site compliance lead, and corporate auditor. She has a BS in Biology from Loyola Marymount University and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Regulatory Science with an emphasis in Food Safety from Arizona State University. 

Cathleen is a Certified Quality Auditor and Certified HACCP Auditor. She is also an FSPCA lead instructor for Preventive Controls for Human Food, Foreign Supplier Verification Programs, and Intentional Adulteration Vulnerability Assessments. As part of the local ASQ Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Division Section, she has given numerous presentations on FSMA implementation activities


Over the past 18 months, the country has seen dramatic changes in how food is prepared and delivered. Starting in March of 2020, both retail food establishments and manufacturers were challenged with staff and supply shortages. As the US continues to move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, there are innovations developed by these organizations that can be taken into the future and make the food systems more resilient. In this session, Cathleen will look at the staffing and training of our front-line workers, how to utilize technology to improve traceability, and the necessity to adapt or establish regulations to keep the food supply safe.      

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