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5 Sessions You Won’t Want to Miss at 2015 SQF International Conference

By Tara Guthrie   |   

Kicking off November, food industry professionals of all types, backgrounds, and levels will descend upon Indianapolis, Indiana for the SQF International Conference. Most will be on a mission of returning home with new expertise to help their companies be best in class for food safety.

There will a wide variety of activities to choose from at the SQF International Conference such as:  how to prevent food fraud, creating a food safety culture, measuring ROI, and identifying missteps in the CAPA process. In addition, attendees may choose from a variety of workshops including an extensive overview and evaluation of the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) final rules, as well as training and compliance issues.

With so much to choose from, we know many may be wondering how to determine what sessions are a must-see. We recommend you pick based on your company’s business objectives, but this carefully curated list may help you get a jump start on planning.


Understanding the Final Rule for Preventative Controls for Human Food

Dr. David Acheson, Founder and CEO, The Acheson Group
Melanie Neumann, Executive Vice President and CFO, The Acheson Group

FSMA Final Rules

Photo: Agra Net: Food Chemical News

This in-depth FSMA workshop will give participants a solid understanding of the key elements of the Preventive Control Rule for Human Foods and the appropriate approaches needed to achieve compliance by the end of August 2016. Get a general overview of the structure of the rule and the way it has changed since the proposed rules.

Session attendees can discuss ways in which the FDA will require registered firms to manage supply chain risks, learn about the approach FDA has taken to finished product testing, and hear how the final rule has addressed environmental monitoring.

Discover how to build a food safety plan and get recommendations on how to achieve rule compliance from a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USDA) Associate Commissioner for Foods.



How Great Leaders Inspire ‘Commitment’ vs. ‘Compliance’ 

Robyn Benincasa, World Champion Eco-Challenge Adventure Racer, CNN Hero, New York Times Bestselling Author


Why do bad accidents happen to good people?

According to research, it’s as simple as ABCD:

  • Attitude
  • Background
  • Circumstances
  • Decisions

In this inspiring and motivational opening keynote, World Champion Adventure Racer, San Diego Firefighter, New York Times Best Selling Author and CNN Hero, Robyn Benincasa will take you on a compelling and unforgettable multimedia adventure, including video footage and analysis of preventable disasters and thrilling safety success stories.

Robyn will inspire and empower you to keep yourself, your teammates and your customers safe because you ‘want’ to, not because you ‘have’ to. With a SAFER mindset, we ensure that the most important goal of all is achieved at the end of the day… Everyone Goes Home.


Results of a Breakthrough Study of Worker Demographics and Behaviors 

Jerry C. Lindsley, President and Founder, Center for Research & Public Policy
Raj Shah, Senior Strategist, Alchemy Systems

Photo: Scales Off Media for Alchemy

The front-line food worker is key to any food company’s safety, quality, and yield objectives. Hear the revealing results of a recent study of food workers and supervisors, conducted by the Center for Research and Public Policy (CRPP). Through national focus groups and surveys across all segments of the food chain CRPP has uncovered some fascinating insights on food workers’ attitudes toward and engagement around work, management, and company.  

Explore the changing demographics of the front-line food worker and implications for food safety practices. Assess the impact of worker engagement on safety and quality programs. Identify best practices for developing safety cultures in the context of diverse work forces, and gain insights on management perceptions around production efficiency, employee engagement and operational strengths and weaknesses.


Let’s Be Real

Tatiana Lorca, Sr. Manager, Food Safety Education & Training, Ecolab, Food & Beverage Division

Photo: Ecolab

Control measures such as cleaning and sanitation, undertaken within any processing facility must be scientifically proven to be effective and executed in a consistent manner. Regulatory authorities and food safety management systems place these responsibilities on the facilities themselves, yet the concepts of validation and verification are consistently misunderstood by multiple stakeholders.

This session will provide you with a clear explanation of food safety program validation and verification as well as their relationship to one another. Lorca will also discuss what evidence you need to provide to both internal and external auditing agents to prove that the systems in place are acceptable and effective.


The Key to Reducing Risk & Liabilities

Melanie Neumann, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, The Acheson Group
Jim Reynolds, Director of Food Safety & Compliance, Lineage Logistics
Holly Mockus, Product Manager, Alchemy Systems


Improper record keeping creates room for errors that can ruin an organization’s reputation and completely shut down a work site. Get valuable and practical guidance to help you reduce the risks and liabilities of poor documentation practices and learn what information needs to be captured to ensure compliance.

Discover how to ensure your documents are solid and defensible and that supervisors and managers grasp the need for objective documentation, and get tips and techniques on how to create documents that are easy to complete.

Learn how to critically review plant records for accuracy in order to limit liability issues. In this session, you may also discover common pitfalls that distributors can overcome with robust systems and employee engagement.

Finally, you’ll learn all the best practices for recording, maintaining, verifying, and tracking the history of food products in distribution – keeping you one step ahead of the game.

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