Food Safety Culture Is Focus of Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association Technical Forum

The nut industry’s only food safety educational forum centered on cultivating a culture of food safety.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (July 22, 2021) — The Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association (PTNPA) hosted its annual Technical Forum June 29 and 30 in Chicago. The focus was “Leading a Culture of Food Safety,” and the conference saw corporate and regulatory agency participants and presenters alike discussing the rapidly changing nature of the technology, collaboration and adaptability required to constantly manage and continue to enhance a safe, stable food supply. The nut industry’s only food safety educational conference, PTNPA Technical Forum 2021 attracted industry leaders and representatives from around the globe.

“The PTNPA Technical Forum brings together business owners and managers, quality assurance and compliance specialists, and prominent food safety and regulatory experts to openly discuss current challenges, resources and opportunities. We are proud to be an industry that embraces collaboration to create proactive programs and effective solutions resulting in supply chain improvements and innovative products – all with food safety as a priority,” said Jeannie Shaughnessy, executive director and CEO, PTNPA.

PTNPA Technical Forum Highlights

The program opened with a customized welcome message delivered by Frank Yiannas, deputy commissioner for FDA food policy and response, principal advisor to the FDA Commissioner in the development and execution of policies related to food safety including implementation of the landmark FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and author of “Food Safety Culture: Creating a Behavior-Based Food Management System.”

“If you’re trying to advance food safety in an organization, in a state, or in a country for that matter, what you’re trying to do is change human behavior… the thoughts, attitudes, actions and behaviors of people in that organization, “ said Yiannas. “Food safety culture and the role of behavior is so critical to food safety. To be successful, you have to be able to merge human behavioral sciences with the principles of food science.”

Presentations focused on specific methods, technology and best practices, and the industry-wide elevation of food safety culture. Expert presenters included Lone Jespersen, PhD, principal/founder of Cultivate SA; Amberley Selesky, senior supplier food safety manager for Walmart and Sam’s Club; Dr. Donald A. Prater, DVM, associate commissioner for imported food safety at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Martin Hahn, regulatory counsel and partner at Hogan Lovells.

The PTNPA Technical Forum included interactive panels that openly discussed industry realities, expectations and actionable takeaways for effectively building a culture of food safety. Forum attendees also participated in a collaborative review of real-life food safety scenarios and possible solutions. All participants discussed prioritizing investing in people and programs in order to achieve a successful business culture of food safety.

  • New Era of Smarter Food Safety: FDA’s Blueprint for the Future – Food Safety Culture

Dr. Prater, co-lead for Core Element 4: Food Safety Culture, part of the FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety initiative, delivered a presentation outlining current FDA priorities and programs. The FDA’s Core Elements are: tech-enabled traceability, smarter tools and approaches for prevention and outbreak response, new business models and retail modernization, and promoting a culture of food safety. Dr. Prater specifically addressed the revolutionary use of technology in producing and tracing food and highlighted the importance of utilizing technology to collaborate for enhanced food safety.

  • The Only Nut Industry Safety Handbook

PTNPA introduced the latest edition of its Industry Handbook for Safe Processing of Nuts The only nut industry reference guide, the Handbook is used for hands-on operating procedure guidance, company training, and a source for solutions. Among topics covered in the handbook are food safety plans, process validation, allergen preventive controls, supply chain management, environmental monitoring and pathogens, and new sections on food defense and intentional adulteration. The Handbook is frequently updated to reflect the rapidly changing food industry. The next edition will include sections on food safety culture and traceability. The Handbook is available at www.ptnpa.org and is intended to be widely distributed and referenced.

For more information about the PTNPA Technical Forum, the nut industry, or to become a PTNPA member, visit ptnpa.org.

 About the Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association

The Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association (PTNPA), established in 1939, is comprised of leading nut industry companies and representatives, ranging from international household brands to fourth-generation family-owned businesses. The organization exists to advance the nut industry through professional networks, advocacy and education for and on behalf of its members.