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    Food Safety to Take Center Stage at PMA Show

    Substantial changes are needed to restore consumer confidence in produce safety, and PMA said it is poised to keep the industry focused at its Fresh Summit next month.

    The Produce Marketing Association said it will tackle the subject food safety head-on with a town hall meeting and topical educational workshops, during its Fresh Summit and Exposition slated to take place Oct. 24-27 in Orlando, Fla.

    "We continue to discuss ways to improve food safety practices within the produce industry - but our consumer research and government interactions make it clear that we need to do less talking and more changing to retain our customers and avoid more government involvement in our business," said PMA President Bryan Silbermann.

    The trade group added a town hall meeting on the recent Salmonella saintpaul outbreak to the convention's food safety educational track. This two-hour meeting will review lessons learned from the recent Salmonella outbreak, and will rely heavily on questions and content from the audience, PMA said. Public health authorities, government officials, and industry experts will discuss the investigative process, and provide insight they have learned from the outbreaks.

    Silbermann added that food safety will also be a major theme if his annual "State of the Industry" address, and that it figures to be a prominent feature in the comments of outgoing chairman Bruce Taylor and incoming chairman Dave Corsi.

    Several other food safety-themed workshops are also planned for this year's Fresh Summit: "Food Safety + Risk Management = Profitability," "Finding Your Place in Whole Chain Traceability," and "Food Safety: Keeping Your Business Healthy."

    The deadline to register for Fresh Summit is Friday, Sept. 26. Pre-registration ends on October 10. Attendees may also register on site in Orlando beginning on Oct. 23. For more information about the event, visit www.pma.com/freshsummit.

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