Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

March 14, 2005

U of G to Co-host Food Safety Symposium

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of issues surrounding food safety, are asking more questions and are wanting to learn more. In response to this and to the growing need for a national food safety strategy, the University of Guelph has partnered with various stakeholders to host "Towards a National Food Safety Strategy: Perspectives and Perceived Need," a one-day symposium March 21 in the Holiday Innís Oakwood Ballroom.

The event is sponsored by the Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Program, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education, the Ontario Food Protection Association and the University of Guelph through the Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety.

Food safety and quality have been identified as key components in meeting challenges in the ever-changing agriculture and agri-food sector. The goal of the symposium is to provide a forum for food safety specialists to meet and share information in order to improve food safety policy and planning within their organizations and make efforts in beginning the development of a national food safety strategy that will be invaluable to the future health and safety of Canadians.

Symposium registration is from 7 to 8 a.m. At 8 a.m., a welcome address will be given by University of Guelph food scientist Mansel Griffiths, who holds an Industrial Dairy Chair in Microbiology, and is director of the Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety.

From 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. speakers will talk about working towards a National Food Policy Strategy and will discuss food safety issues that concern national public health interest, which will be followed by a discussion forum.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., experts will speak from an industry perspective, an academic perspective and the perspective of the Canadian consumer, followed by a question period. At 1 p.m. Justice Roland J. Haines, author of the Report of the Meat Regulatory and Inspection Review: Farm to Fork: A strategy for Meat Safety in Ontario will give the keynote luncheon address.

Starting at 2:30 p.m., the audience will hear from speakers who will provide international , U.S. and developing country perspectives. A question period will follow.

Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and will feature a keynote talk by Merle Pierson, acting under secretary for food safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, Ext. 56982.

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