The Wisconsin Association for Food Protection held a Fall 2020 Virtual Workshop Thursday November 12. The workshop was held using GotoWebinar, which Food Research Institute (FRI) of University of Wisconsin (UW) Madison graciously allowed use. Although there were a few glitches with technology such as losing sound and video with the one pre-taped session, overall, the three-hour, free of charge conference received positive accolades!

The conference kicked off with an introduction from the President Jean Finger of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) thanking everyone for adjusting to our new format and for the terrific year. Adam Borger of FRI was the next speaker giving an entertaining take on accelerated shelf life studies, the pitfalls and perks. Next, Dr. Steve Ricke, the newly appointed Director of the UW Meat Science and Animal Biologics Discovery (MSABD) program gave an overview of the program and new building. Following Dr. Ricke’s presentation, Kevin Miller of Kwik Trip gave a detailed overview of the company’s microbiological environmental monitoring program and controls used to prevent contamination. The presentation brought insight into the daily program as well as special situation modifications to the program. Dr. Steve Ingham of DATCP gave his annual and always highly anticipated overview of the state of Wisconsin food safety current situation. Dr Ingham is always a highlight of the program and once again did not disappoint. Finally, the program concluded with a presentation from Sharon Lindan Mayl of the US Food and Drug Association (FDA) presenting on the current state of the FDA initiative of Smarter Food Safety. The presentation provided an update on the initiative and insight into the future blueprint. It was a welcome addition to the conference, and we thank Ms. Lindan-Mayl for her acceptance to speak. If you want to know more about what our speakers covered, the presentation slides are available on the Publications page.

Overall, the virtual event was a success and provided excellent information to our WAFP membership. A virtual spring workshop is currently being planned, with hopes the WAFP Fall 2021 Workshop can be held in person.