Food Safety: Commissioner's Forum will focus on new federal produce-safety rules

RALEIGH — New federal rules governing produce safety will be among the topics at the eighth annual Commissioner’s Food Safety Forum on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler will host the event from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Expo Center at the State Fairgrounds. The event is open to farmers, food businesses, regulators, health professionals and others with an interest in food safety. Admission is free, and lunch will be provided.

“With passage of the federal Food Safety Modernization Act, producers and growers are anticipating the impending release of major rules and regulations regarding preventive measures and produce safety,” Troxler said. “Our agenda will focus on these rules in an effort to help prepare the industry for the changes.”

Keynote speakers will be Leanne Skelton, senior policy analyst with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Dr. Liz Wagstrom, chief veterinarian for the National Pork Producers Council. Skelton’s presentation will focus on the new federal produce rules and the protective measures required by them. Wagstrom will speak about food safety issues in the meat industry.

Thomas Mack of Dole Food Co. and Bob Reinhard of the Hillshire Brands Co. will provide food-industry perspectives about the rules. And Ben Chapman, a food safety specialist at N.C. State University, will talk about food safety training for farmers markets. Troxler also will speak at the forum.

Even though admission to the forum is free, registration is encouraged. To register, go online to www.ncagr.gov/ncfoodsafetyforum or contact Chrissy Waggett at 919-707-3008 by Friday, Aug. 24.