FDA’s New Era of Food Safety meeting, webcast, reach capacity

FDA’s New Era of Food Safety meeting, webcast, reach capacity

A meeting designed to shed light on the Food and Drug Administration’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety initiative is so popular that no spots are available, and the webcast of the meeting has also hit the maximum number allowed.

The 300 spaces at the meeting site, the Washington DC/Rockville Hotel Rockville, Md., filled up, and the webcast capacity of 1,000 participants is also full, according to a spokesman for Sidem LLC, and event planning company contracted by the FDA for the meeting. The company was accepting registrations for a webcast waiting list in case some participants do not "attend" the webcast.

The FDA scheduled the Oct. 21 meeting to discuss traceability, smarter prevention tools, evolving business models and other food safety issues in the wake of foodborne illness outbreaks, including E. coli outbreaks from leafy greens that exposed shortfalls in traceability, among other things.

In a question-and-answer session on the FDA website, Frank Yiannas, FDA deputy commissioner for food policy and response, said new technology is key to investigating the source of outbreaks, using tools including blockchain, sensor technology, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.

But smarter food safety is more than that, Yiannas said.

“It’s about leadership and creativity,” he said in the Q&A. “It’s also about working within and outside of FDA to foster a food safety culture that transcends borders between the public and private sector.”

The meeting is at the  Although the FDA is not accepting any more in-person or webcast registrations, the agency plans to release a transcript of the meeting and all slides used in presentations on its website — but that will take up to six weeks.

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