ROSEMONT, ILL. — The 2020 Food Safety Summit, an annual event organized by Food Safety Strategies, will now feature an opening session and keynote address including COVID-19 impacts on food and worker safety.

The summit was rescheduled from May to Oct. 19-22, 2020 following the escalation of the pandemic in the United States.

Will Daniels, president of IEH Laboratories and Consulting Group’s produce division, will present the keynote address, discussing consumer-focused food safety measures and how the novel coronavirus has altered that for now and going forward.

"The food industry has always risen to a crisis and taken a challenge head on,” Daniels said. “The result is usually very innovative and sometimes severe to reach the desired outcome. The COVID-19 pandemic response is no different. The food industry has stepped up [to] the challenge and has developed some novel ways to protect their workforce. Now is the time to change our paradigm and refocus on the consumer and their wellbeing. We must remember that the food we make goes into the mouths of the people we love and how important it is to have food safety programs that go above and beyond regulation to protect the consumer while still being profitable."

Daniels will address important topics, including how food safety is key to company survival, food safety implications of the industrialization of food processing, and regulatory compliance, as well as answer questions about how food safety procedures can be more focused on consumers, changes to the way food safety efforts are subsidized, and internal food safety personalization.

Additionally, a half-day workshop will focus on the pandemic’s impact to food safety. The session, “COVID-19: The New Normal for the Food Industry,” will include expert speakers on epidemiology, regulatory compliance, distribution, manufacturing, food service and retail. Speakers will share their COVID-19 crisis plans and how they will continue to address the virus.

Some speakers to present during the workshop include Steve Mandernach, executive director of the Association of Food and Drug Officials; Jorge Hernandez, vice president of quality assurance at The Wendy’s Company; and Craig Wilson, vice president and general merchandise manager for Costco.

The half-day workshop will take place on Monday, Oct. 19. Registration is now open for the 2020 Food Safety Summit in October.

Stay up to date on pet industry event cancellations and adjustments with our Pet Industry Event Tracker.