2017 European Sympsoium
March 29 – March 31
IAFP’s European Symposium on Food Safety took place 29–31 March in Brussels, Belgium at The Square – Brussels Meeting Centre, with more than 350 delegates participating. The meeting was held in collaboration with the International Life Sciences Institute Europe and with the technical cooperation of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.
The Opening Session began with a welcome to delegates from Lilou van Lieshout, ILSI Europe and Chair of the Local Organizing Committee. IAFP Executive Director David Tharp spoke about IAFP and its benefits, followed by IAFP President Linda Harris, University of California – Davis, officially opening the symposium with an overview and her presentation, “Global Trends in Food Safety.” Jacques Mahillon, University Catholic Louvain in Brussels, presented “Biocontrol of Foodborne Pathogens: The Pros and Cons.” Marc Heyndrickx, ILVO – Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, concluded the Opening Session with “The Future of the One Health Approach: From Tracing Foodborne Pathogens and Spoilers to Mobile Genetic Elements and from Farm to Fork via the Environment.”
The deserving recipient of the 2017 Europe Student Travel Scholarship Award, sponsored by the IAFP
Foundation, was Christian Hertwig, a Ph.D. candidate at the Technical University of Berlin in the Department of Food Biotechnology and Food Process Engineering. Christian also works as a research associate at the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy Potsdam (Germany) in the research program, “Quality and Safety of Food and Feed.” His research is focused on novel non-thermal preservation technologies with an emphasis on the inactivation of bacterial spores using cold atmospheric pressure plasma and has won several awards in Canada, Switzerland, and the U.S. In addition to his studies, Christian is fulfilling the role of a Student Representative in Europe for the
IFT – Non-thermal Processing Division.
Twenty-one symposia and eight technical sessions, along with the Closing Plenary Session, compiled the three-day program. More than 120 oral presentations and more than 75 poster presentations were given throughout the meeting.
Thursday also provided a welcome break with an evening social at the Brussels Event Brewery, a beautifully refurbished bottling establishment that has become popular in the city for corporate and private events. Attendees had a chance to mingle with their colleagues and fellow attendees while partaking in what Belgium is famous for: its fine chocolates and beer!
Friday’s Closing Session included a presentation by IAFP President-Elect Mickey Parish on the “U.S. FDA Draft Guidance for Industry on Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-to-Eat Foods.” The session concluded with the Student Awards Presentation by Linda Harris, followed by closing remarks. Several students took part in the Student Competition, with Ifigeneia Makariti, Agricultural University of Athens, and Marcia Boura, University of Reading, UK, receiving honors for their poster and technical presentations during the conference.
This year’s symposium was supported in part by our exhibitors and sponsors through their financial contributions. Twenty companies shared their food safety equipment, products and services with attendees through displays in the Exhibit Hall. IAFP acknowledges each of these companies for their support provided to the symposium.
Other groups to be recognized include the Organizing Committee, chaired by Alejandro Amezquita, and the Local Organizing Committee, chaired by Lilou van Lieshout. IAFP extends its thanks and appreciation to these committee members, as well as to the symposium organizers, convenors, and presenters, all of whom provided much time and hard work into planning and organizing the European Symposium in Brussels. The conference proved to be highly successful for those attending from across Europe and around the world.
Next year’s IAFP’s European Symposium on Food Safety will take place 25–27 April 2018
in Stockholm, Sweden.