The 2018 Center for Produce Safety Research Symposium is coming to Charlotte, NC June 19-20 with updated findings on protecting product along the entire supply chain.

The 9th annual edition of the Research Symposium will present five special sessions looking at issues and solutions that impact growers, packers and processors.

The sessions — set for the Charlotte Marriott City Center — will be highlighted by some food safety world superstars.

Charlotte Marriott City Center

The Produce Marketing Association’s Chief Science Officer Dr. Bob Whitaker will kick off the 2018 Symposium and set the stage for what to expect this year by reviewing some of the key outcomes from the 2017 CPS Symposium.


Next, Whitaker will moderate a session about food illness outbreaks associated with leafy greens — clearly a hot topic.

This session will feature a compilation of data developed by CDC and a discussion with industry leaders on understanding the lessons previous investigations have yielded and how these lessons can be leveraged to prevent future outbreaks. Panelists include:

  • Kari Irvin, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, CORE
  • Kate Marshall, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Jennifer McEntire, United Fresh Produce Association
  • Gurmail Mudahar, Tanimura & Antle

The third special session centers around putting CPS research findings to work. Over the last ten years, CPS has funded over 100 research projects that have been used to shape industry thoughts on produce safety, inform regulatory rules, and guide individual company produce safety programs. Yet the industry still faces periodic illness outbreaks. Increasingly, this is not due to a lack of knowledge, but failure to properly implement what we already know.


This session, moderated by Drew McDonald of Taylor Fresh Foods, will explore recent outbreaks and research findings that could provide management solutions for growers, packers and processors. Panelists include:

  • Channah Rock, University of Arizona
  • Trevor Suslow, University of California, Davis

The fourth session will focus on Listeria monocytogenes as a global food industry challenge and what can be learned from outside the produce industry. Martin Wiedmann from Cornell University will lead this discussion on what lessons can be gleaned from other sectors of the food industry and how they can be applied to the fresh produce industry.

Wrapping things up will be CPS Chairperson Tim York of Markon and Dave Corsi of Wegmans as they share their perspectives and enlist the audience to share theirs regarding the findings that define the 2018 CPS Symposium.

You can see a full agenda here along with other program information. The host Marriott room block is sold out, but there are numerous other hotels in walking distance.

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