2019 European Symposium
April 24 – April 26 | La Cité des Congrès de Nantes, Nantes, France
IAFP’s European Symposium on Food Safety took place 24–26 April 2019 in Nantes, France, at the La Cité des Congrès de Nantes, with more than 400 delegates participating.
Wednesday’s Opening Session began with a welcome to delegates from Daniele Sohier, Bruker Daltonik, GmbH, Germany, and Chair of the Organizing Committee. IAFP Executive Director David Tharp spoke about IAFP and its benefits. IAFP President Tim Jackson officially opened the symposium and recognized two deserving recipients of the 2019 European Student Travel Scholarship, sponsored by the IAFP Foundation.
Maria Gkerekou is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece. Maria’s research focuses on the evaluation of the impact of interactions between Listeria monocytogenes strains mimicking their co-existence in dairy food matrices (different structure and/or oxygen availability) and their subsequent passage from the gastrointestinal tract and how this co-existence is reflected on their phenotypic responses and gene expression of key virulence genes. Her research team received the Best Poster Presentation Award at the 2016 student competition at IAFP’s European Symposium, and Maria was one of five finalists in the student poster competition at IAFP’s European Symposium in 2018. (See Maria’s meeting summary on page ***.)
The second recipient, Yifan Zhang, is a Ph.D. candidate in the Sustainable Food Processing Group at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Her research includes investigating milder, non-thermal food processing approaches to control bacterial spores. The processing technologies currently under investigation are high hydrostatic pressure (for high water activity foods) and low energy electron beam (for low water activity foods). Yifan received second place for her research in the Developing Scientist Competition at IAFP 2018.
Others who presented during the Opening Session were Moez Sanaa, ANSES, France, who discussed the food safety risk assessment policies and procedures at the U.S. FDA, the European Food Safety Authority, and the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety; and Benjamin Felix, ANSES, who provided an update on monitoring activities of the European Union reference laboratory for Listeria monocytogenes multi-EU country outbreak investigation and integration in the EU/EEA-wide monitoring organization.
Wednesday’s speakers also included Kris De Smet, European Commission, Belgium; Jeffrey Farber, University of Guelph, Canada; Linda Harris, University of California – Davis; Lise Korste, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Roy Betts, Campden BRI, UK; and Francois Bourdichon, International Dairy Federation – Standing Committee on Microbiological Hygiene, Belgium.
Among those speaking on Thursday were Akos Jozwiak, National Security Chain, Hungary; Lone Jespersen, Cultivate Food Safety, Switzerland; Liesbeth Jacxsens, Ghent University, Belgium; Leon Gorris, Food Safety Expert, The Netherlands; and Jeffrey LeJeune, Food and Agriculture Organization, Italy.
Twenty-four symposia, three roundtables, and nine technical sessions, along with the Closing Plenary Session, comprised the three-day program. One hundred thirty-six poster presentations were also given throughout the meeting.
Friday’s speakers included AnneMarie Pielaat, Unilever R&D, The Netherlands; Marion Koopmans, Erasmus University Medical Center, The Netherlands; and Wayne Anderson, Food Safety Authority of Ireland, speaking in a session sponsored in part by ICMSF.
The Closing Session took place with Helen Taylor, incoming Chair of the Organizing Committee, introducing speakers Matthias Filer, German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, and Tim Jackson. The event concluded with the Student Awards presented by Tim Jackson and IAFP President-Elect Kali Kniel, followed by closing remarks. Several students took part in the Student Competition, with Beatriz Nunes Silva, University of Minho, Portugal, and Krishna S. Gelda, University of Guelph, receiving honors for their poster and technical presentations (respectively) during the conference.
This year’s symposium was supported in part by our exhibitors and sponsors through their financial contributions. Twenty-two 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 Daniele Sohier, and the Local Organizing Committee, chaired by Jeanne-Marie Membré, INRA, Nantes. 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 Nantes. The record-attending conference was highly successful for those arriving from across Europe and around the world.