IAFP 2020, A Virtual Annual Meeting, was held virtually by the International Association for Food Protection due to the continued spread of coronavirus and the persistent pandemic. The three-day virtual meeting took place October 26–28 and concluded with more than 2,500 registered attendees representing 50 countries, 48 states plus the District of Columbia, and seven Canadian provinces. The meeting has earned recognition as the leading food safety conference.

President Kali Kniel officially opened the General Session on Monday before introducing this year’s Ivan Parkin Lecture, presented by Caroline Smith DeWaal, deputy director of EatSafe, part of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition in Washington, D.C. Ms. DeWaal spoke on “Audacious Innovation: Critical Tools for the 21st Century.”

IAFP 2020’s program featured more than 900 presentations including 68 symposia, 14 roundtable sessions, 114 technical presentations, and 584 poster presentations. Most sessions and presentations were recorded and are available to registered attendees for six months following the meeting. Representatives from 65 companies, including six new exhibitors, showcased equipment and the latest innovations in food safety services in this year’s virtual Exhibit Hall.

Tuesday’s General Session opened the day with a “U.S. Regulatory Update on Food Safety,” featuring Dr. Mindy Brashears with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Mr. Frank Yiannas with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

On Wednesday morning, the General Session opened with the John H. Silliker Lecture, “An Interview with Peter Ben Embarek,” featuring a Q&A with Dr. Ben Embarek, International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) Management, Department of Nutrition and Food Safety with the World ealth Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

This year’s award recipients were recognized for excellence in food safety in a recorded “IAFP 2020 Awards Recognition Presentation,” available for viewing on the IAFP website. The meeting concluded with the virtual gavel presentation to Incoming President, Dr. Roger Cook, ,manager of food science and risk assessment, New Zealand Food Safety in Wellington, New Zealand.