I had the pleasure of attending the Food Safety Summit held annually in Chicago in early May. I was impressed. The Summit brought together governmental, hospitality, legal, and vendor food safety experts all with the apparent motivation to discuss and learn how to make our food safer from farm or production to the dining table.
While there have been great strides in reducing food borne illness, there are new and increasingly complex evolving risks.
Here are some key lessons I learned:
- The international human food chain is complex.
- There are multiple points of potential contamination.
- Some of those riskier points are in need of tighter scrutiny.
- There are evolving issues such as a food fraud, the trend for local farm to restaurant table, increased demand for restaurant to home deliver and efforts to reduce food waste by donating that are moving food safety challenges.
While more regulation and stricter standards in our food chain may create complexities, they should be welcomed in the interest of public safety.
At both the Food Safety Summit and the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show held ten days later, I had the honor of meeting highly motivated vendors sharing the goal of making it easier for food preparers and food servers to do their jobs while protecting the public safety.
While I explored thousands of booths, some companies, their representatives and their products or services, caught my attention:
- AccuTemp offers steam heated kettles and skillets that provide consistent heating across the entire cooking surface, thereby reducing the risk of undercooked foods.
- Extreme Microbial Technologies provides a product with high success rate for penetrating hard to clean surfaces.
- Ary offers utensils with color coded handles, reducing the risk of cross contamination during food preparation.
- Eagle Protect provides food safe disposable gloves and clothing and are exploring innovative ways of glove delivery.
- McCloud rids facilities of pests that are potential vectors of food borne illness.
- Allertrain.com conducts allergy free and gluten free training.
I don’t have any financial interest in any of these companies but believe their collective commitment to improving food safety are admirable and worthy of applauding.
The two conferences were fascinating and educational indeed!