The Wisconsin Association for Food Protection Fall 2017 Food Safety Workshop.
The 2017 Food Safety Leadership Award went to Marianne Smukowski at the recent WAFP November meeting.
The 2017 Food Safety Leadership Award went to Marianne Smukowski at the recent WAFP November meeting.
On November 2nd, the Wisconsin Association for Food Protection (WAFP) held their annual Fall Food Safety Workshop at the headquarters of Covance Laboratories in Madison, WI. An audience of over 50 members of industry, government and academia gathered to hear the latest developments in food regulation, microbiological safety and other food safety initiatives.

WAFP President Linda Olson (Century Foods; Sparta, WI) welcomed the attendees and introduced the first speakers of the day. Jeffrey Bernhardt, Supervisory Consumer Safety Officer for the FDA based out of Milwaukee, opened the program by providing an update on the rollout of the Food Safety Modernization Act and Preventive Controls. Jeff deftly handled numerous questions from the audience, including many on the topics of supplier verification and establishing supply chain programs to maintain product safety. Next, Rachel Klos, epidemiologist for the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, detailed how outbreak investigations proceed at both the state and federal level. This was of much interest to those industry members in the audience and a lively discussion ensued about worker health and possible transmission of disease to food commodities as well as the potential legal responsibilities if this occurred.

Cynthia Austin, Senior Microbiologist for AFCO Zep, informed the audience of the effective ways to treat meat and cheese brines in order to inactivate microbiological pathogens, including the use of several chemical additives, filtration systems and electrolysis of water systems. This talk was incredibly informative, especially to the numerous cheese manufacturers in the room. WAFP President-elect Adam Borger (University of Wisconsin; Madison, WI) then explained the new USDA options for establishing a 5-log10 reduction of Salmonella in certain ready-to-eat meat products.

The WAFP business meeting was held over lunch where we welcomed our newly elected 2nd vice-president board member, Erin Headley (Schreiber Foods; Green Bay, WI) and our new treasurer, Adam Brock (Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board; Madison, WI). We then thanked Linda Olson for her service as WAFP president and also Bob Wills (Cedar Grove Cheese; Milwaukee, WI) for his service as treasurer.

After the business meeting, WAFP Vice President Jay Myrick (Kerry Ingredients; Beloit, WI) introduced the final three speakers of the day. Benjamin Axell, 3M Food Safety, led off the afternoon by detailing some common misunderstandings that laboratories have when conducting microbiological testing including the importance of knowing which methods have been validated for certain product matrices and the process of method validation. Marianne Smukowski from the University of Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research then discussed the enormous amount of work that she and others have been performing around the state of Wisconsin to ensure that small to medium sized cheese makers are compliant with new regulations from FDA including the pertinent FSMA rules and introducing those cheese-makers to the new FDA guidance on Listeria environmental monitoring. Finally, Julie Carver, Sargento Foods Food Safety and Quality, discussed the FDA Listeria environmental monitoring guidance in depth and how her company and other large cheese manufacturers may choose to adopt the approaches within the document.

The day closed with the awarding of the WAFP Food Safety Leadership award. This award is given yearly to those persons showing dedication to improving food safety through research, training and/or outreach. We were very pleased to present the 2017 Food Safety Leadership Award to Marianne Smukowski from the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Dairy Research in recognition of her years of service to improve food safety in the cheese and dairy industry throughout Wisconsin and around the world.

The meeting was adjourned by new WAFP president Adam Borger who thanked all in attendance for helping make this meeting, as one attendee remarked, “one of the best WAFP meetings I have ever been to.”

Student Awards Announced
The Wisconsin Association of Food Protection’s 2017 Scholarship and Travel awards were given this year to two outstanding students. Cole Bielen received the $3,000 E. H. Marth Food Protection and Food Science Scholarship. Mr. Bielen is a senior with the UW Madison Food Science Department. Kori Scherer received the 2017 Student Travel Award recognition at the Annual Food Research Institute’s meeting where she was presenting in May. Ms. Scherer attended the International Association for Food Protection annual meeting held this summer. She is a senior with the UW Madison Microbiology program and Global Health certificate program.

WAFP Received International Association for Food Protection Affiliate Achievement Award
The Wisconsin Association for Food Protection (WAFP) received the Affiliate Membership Achievement Award at the recent International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) annual meeting held in Providence, RI.

The Membership Achievement Award is given to that IAFP affiliate "demonstrating aggressive and innovative plans and ideas to recruit new members" to join its affliate organization with the goal of growing from within.

"This is a tremendous honor for our association," said WAFP President Fritz Buss. "In our 70 years of serving the food industry, the Wisconsin affiliation has never won the award. At WAFP, we have one of the largest memberships of any food protection society. It's the dedication of our membership and the commitment to food safety that this award best symbolizes."

WAFP Student Scholarships Announced
Michael Schoenherr
The Wisconsin Association for Food Protection (WAFP) recently announced the winners of the association's E.H. Marth Food Protection and Food Science Scholarship and the annual Memorial Scholarship.

This year's E.H. Marth Scholarship winner was Adam Bartling, a student at the University of Madison. Bartling is a Waterford Union High School graduate who is focusing on food safety at the university.

The Memorial Scholarship went to Kristen Ver Voort studying food safety at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Kristen is the daughter of long-time WAFP member Allan Ver Voort.

"We are really excited to award these student scholarships to the next generation of professionals dedicated to improving the safety of our food supply," said WAFP President Fritz Buss.

WAFP Recognizes Kathy Glass With 2012 Leadership Award
Kathy Glass
The Wisconsin Association for Food Protection (WAFP) recently recognized Kathy Glass' contributions to the association with its' newest award — the Outstanding Leadership Award.

The award is bestowed upon an individual who demonstrates exemplary performance consistent with the goals of the association.

"Kathy is a worldwide leader in food safety" said WAFP Past President Steve Stoner. "What she has done for this association, as well as the entire food safety industry, is tremendous. We can never put to words the thanks for the countless hours on behalf of WAFP. She is the first recipent of this, our highest award."

The Wisconsin Association for Food Protection is a non-profit professional association that actively encourages the improved quality of Wisconsin food products through the development of uniform practices and inspection methods, dissemination of information.

Kathy Glass is a past president of WAFP and the International Association for Food Protection.

Glass is a food safety researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is associate director at the Food Research Institute. She assists the food industry in developing formulation-safe foods, including low acid refrigerated foods, process cheese and other dairy foods, and ready-to-eat meats.

In addition, Glass is responsible for overseeing the FRI Applied Food Safety Research Laboratory and developing the food safety training and outreach program for the Institute. Kathy earned her doctorate in Food Microbiology and Safety at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kathy teaches at workshops on food microbiology, Listeria control methods, dairy HACCP, and process cheese and process meat safety.

In addition to being an active member of IAFP, Kathy is a member of the Institute for Food Technologists,American Society for Microbiology, and Sigma Xi. Kathywas appointed in 2007 as a member of the National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria of Foods and is a member of the International Dairy Federation SCMH Action Team on Shiga-Toxin Producing E. coli.