A new location, new educational offerings, new exhibitors and new networking opportunities will be part of the 2016 Food Safety Summit Conference & Expo, taking place May 10–12 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, with certification programs beginning on May 9. The Food Safety Summit is a solution-based conference and expo designed to meet the educational and informational needs of the food industry including growers, processors, retailers, distributors, foodservice operators, regulators and academia.

"We are thrilled to be hosting the 18th Annual Food Safety Summit in the Midwest for the first time where there are 30,000+ food manufacturers, processors, product developers, plant operators and many other food industry professionals," says Scott Wolters, director for the Food Safety Summit. "The Food Safety Summit Educational Advisory Board has put together a dynamic line-up of sessions and speakers for the 2016 Conference, which is packed with prominent subject matter experts within the food safety community who will offer the most up-to-date information on the most pressing topics facing the industry."

Highlights of the 2016 Food Safety Summit program are as follows:

New certification and training courses. The summit will offer four certification courses for attendees, including two courses that are new to the industry and the event. The courses, which begin on May 9 are “HACCP Certification Training,” “Preventive Controls for Human Foods” (new), “Seafood HACCP–Segment Two” and “Food Safety Auditor Training” (new).

Integrating the Nation’s Food Safety System Forum. Developed by the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), the forum will take place May 10 and will bring together high-ranking FDA officials, state and local food safety program managers, members of the Partnership for Food Protection [PFP], consumer groups and industry representatives to discuss the continuing efforts and projects in place to integrate government resources dedicated to food safety in this country.

Breakfast & Learn Sessions. Join subject matter experts for breakfast and an opportunity to participate in an interactive conversation with leaders in each sector of the industry. Grab a cup of coffee and a seat in one of these sessions focusing on retail, foodservice, manufacturing, distribution and regulatory.

Keynote presentation: “The New Food Safety Environment.” Join this interactive presentation between the regulatory community and the food industry, including manufacturing, retail and foodservice, on May 11 from 9:15–11 a.m. Speakers include Glenda Lewis, FDA; Kathy Gombas, FDA; Scott Brooks, formerly with Kraft Foods; Joan Menke-Schaenzer, formerly with ConAgra Foods Inc.; Jay T. Mayr, Reser’s Fine Foods; and Gillian Kelleher, Wegmans Food Markets. The session will be moderated by Craig Henry, Decernis, and Faye Feldstein, Deloitte Consulting.

5th Annual Town Hall. The event will take place May 12th at 9:30 a.m., and will offer summit attendees a unique opportunity for a candid and interactive discussion on the latest food safety issues with key government officials. The panel includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Christopher R. Braden, M.D. (CAPT, USPHS); FDA's Mike Taylor; USDA's Alfred V. Almanza; and AFDO's Joseph Corby, who will discuss today’s pressing issues pertaining to regulatory agencies and the private sector. The session will be moderated by Gary Ades, president, G&L Consulting.

Education highlights. More than 100 industry leaders will present in two dozen education sessions focused on food fraud prevention, Norovirus, Listeria, prerequisite programs, process validation, active managerial control, foodborne illness investigations, social media, foreign supplier verification and more. The closing session with focus on hot topics and include a panel discussion on liability and jail time, organic food and the impact of acquisitions.

Exhibit hall. More than 200 exhibiting companies will showcase new products and services in the exhibit hall, and dozens will offer free education sessions on the Solutions Stage.

Networking events. The summit will offer several networking opportunities, including the opening night welcome reception on May 10, which will take place on the exhibit hall floor, and the Food Safety Summit Gives Back networking reception on May 11 supporting Feeding America and featuring the Sani Awards.

Registration is open, and the full conference program is now available at www.foodsafetysummit.com.