FDA Leadership to Headline United Fresh 2010 Food Safety Demo Center

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Three officers from the Food and Drug Administration will join United Fresh Produce Association members and guests in the inaugural Food Safety Demo Center at United Fresh 2010, April 20-23 in Las Vegas.

With health care reform behind them, Congress is expected to move quickly on food safety legislation, which promises big changes for the fresh produce industry. Attendees to the Food Safety Demo Center will have the opportunity to be one step ahead of the food safety curve with new programming.

Domenic Veneziano, director of the FDA’s Division of Import Operations and Policy will discuss FDA’s import regulatory policies and inspection practices at the border.

Additionally, former United Fresh Senior Vice President of Food Safety and Technology and current FDA Senior Advisor for Produce Safety Dr. James Gorny will discuss what FDA has learned from the mandatory Reportable Food Registry and describe newly released guidance for compliance.

Finally, Dr. Samir Assar, FDA’s director of Produce Safety Staff, will discuss FDA’s plans for GMP Modernization and what changes the fresh-cut and other GMP-regulated facilities can expect in that regulation.

Also in the Food Safety Demo Center, Drs. Assar and Gorny will discuss FDA’s current thinking on a proposed rule for produce safety and how the industry can best provide input as FDA develops the proposed regulation that could affect all field operations.

“Each presentation in the Food Safety Demo Center will offer unprecedented opportunities for access to FDA officials at the center of the regulatory aspect of our industry,” said Dr. David Gombas, United Fresh senior vice president of food safety and technology. “It is critical for each member of the industry to understand how new policies and regulations will affect his or her business.”

As the produce industry’s only dedicated exhibit area focused exclusively on food safety solutions for all points in the fresh and fresh-cut produce supply chain, the Food Safety and Research Demo Center will help attendees answer pressing questions in this all-important industry field. The Demo Center will also feature cutting-edge research on food safety and quality assurance of produce from national and international researchers and research organizations, providing information and new technologies to the produce industry. Sponsored by the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, the research posters will be available for viewing at all times that the show floor is open and researchers will be available at their posters to discuss their research on Wednesday, April 21 from 4:30-5:30 PM.

“Given the importance of food safety within the fresh produce industry, the Food Safety and Research Demo Center became a must at this year’s show,” said Dr. Gombas. “Visitors to the center will be able to learn about advances in best practices, audit harmonization, pending legislation and more, all in one stop.”

The demo center is a key part of United Fresh 2010’s theme of ‘Winning is Everything.’ United Fresh 2010 looks to highlight the skills, products and technologies needed to build and maintain a successful, winning produce business, focusing on specialized programming for all segments of the fresh and fresh-cut produce industry.

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