The institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH) is a word-class food research center, which is part of the Illinois Institute of Technology (ITT).  It has a staff of 70 scientists, micro-biologists, chemists, virologists, and nutrition scientists who work with scientists from government, academia and the food industry in state-of-the-art facilities to study, among other things, the behavior of pathogens in real-world food processing conditions with the aim of developing fact based food safety technologies.

Representatives from ISGA attended the annual IFSH meeting which took place on September 17th and 18th, 2013.  ISGA is a member of this group, a consortium of FDA, scientists from ITT, and people working in the food industry.

We were impressed with the quality and breadth of the presentations.  Also, we and those form the scientific and regulatory communities had an opportunity to exchange experiences relating to sprout safety.  Viewing sprout safety issues from different perspectives helps in the development of better solutions.

The first morning of the meeting, there was a gathering of the IFSH sponsored Sprout Safety Task Force;  a sub-group of IFSH dedicated specifically to research on behalf of the sprout industry.  Training material related to HAACP, which the Task Force is assembling, was discussed.  Then an update was given on the USDA audit checklist and what was learned from beta testing at sprout grower sites.

Later there were presentations which dealt with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) as it applies to the sprout industry, evaluation of commercial test kits for the detection of salmonella in Alfalfa Sprout spent irrigation water, risk analysis, and seed safety and treatment.

Click here to view the presentations.