In a step to assist food manufacturers and their suppliers in identifying and implementing best sanitation design practices, eight organizations are jointly sponsoring a food industry sanitation workshop.

The Equipment & Plant Design Workshop for Allergen/Pathogen Control is being held Feb. 9-10, 2010, in Chicago. Registration, which begins today, will be limited to the first 72 attendees to allow for a more interactive dialogue among participants and session leaders. If the response is strong, organizers say additional workshops will be considered.

"It is critically important for the industry to insure consumer confidence in our products," says Robb MacKie, American Bakers Association’s president & CEO. "With Congress and [the Food & Drug Administration] pursuing legislative and regulatory fixes to the nation's food safety regime, it is imperative for the food industry to proactively develop strategies or face onerous governmental solutions."

Jim Munyon, president of AIB International, stresses that food safety is not a competitive advantage issue.

 "A single food safety incident taints whole industry segments regardless of an individual company's exposure,” he explains.

Joining ABA and AIB International are the American Society of Baking, BEMA, the Biscuit & Cracker Manufacturers Association, the Food Processing Suppliers Association, the National Pasta Association and the Snack Food Association.

Session leaders include leading sanitation and food safety experts from the Bama Cos., Cadbury, Campbell’s, ConAgra Foods, General Mills, Heinz, Kellogg’s, Kraft, Land O’Lakes, the Quaker Oats and Frito Lay divisions of PepsiCo, Nestlé and Sara Lee.

Click here to find each association’s Web site.