Food processing

Food Processing Equipment Market to Reach $69.8 Billion by 2032, Report Says

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Food Safety Summit began in earnest on Tuesday, May 10 with a mock civil trial. Presented by Shawn Stevens, national food industry attorney and founder of Food Industry Counsel, and Joel Chappelle, food industry attorney at Food Industry Counsel, the session offered insight into the procedure of a civil lawsuit involving a large-scale foodborne disease outbreak.

The room full of food safety professionals served as jurors in the mock trial, which involved an 11-year-old girl who died of listeriosis. The lawsuit included data about the outbreak, witnesses such as the girl’s mother, company executives accused of making the egg salad that allegedly caused listeriosis, and epidemiologists.

After three hours, 14 jury tables concluded that the company was not at fault for the Listeria which caused the death of the 11-year-old child. Ten juries said yes. There were eight hung juries. A jury, perhaps thinking more harshly of the company’s lack of food safety and quality, awarded the girl’s estate $1 billion, instead of the recommended $10 million.

This result is actually indicative of something Stevens said after the verdicts were read.

“When it comes to food, people really get upset,” he told the audience. “Juries tend to be tougher on food companies in trials.”

Later in the day, a full house (seriously, people were walking out of the room), listened to a panel of experts discuss how to communicate effectively with regulators. Moderated by Oscar Garrison, senior vice president, food safety regulatory affairs, United Egg Producers, panelists included Craig Wilson, Costco Wholesale; Steve Mandernach, Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), Jorge Hernandez, The Wendy’s Co.; Will Daniels, AgroThrive, Inc.; Mark Moorman, CFSAN, US Food and Drug Administration; and Philip Bornstein, Ph.D. Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

During the workshop, panelists provided insight into why industry and regulators need to communicate better, and advice on how to do so.

“Our goal is compliance,” Bornstein said. “If it can be done with a conversation and you don’t need a non-compliance report, do it with a conversation.”

Tuesday ended with a welcome reception in the exhibit hall, which offered food, drinks and previews of vendor booths (including ours!).