Heard at the Safety Summit

Here are a half-dozen of the most trenchant sound bites I heard during last week’s Food Safety Summit in suburban Chicago. For most of these, the context should be clear. If it’s not, keep your eyes peeled for Food Processing’s upcoming coverage, in various formats, of food safety.

“The aspiration [is] to make progress [on food safety] without waiting for the next crisis, because...progress historically has been driven by response to crisis.”
Michael Taylor, co-chair of Stop Foodborne Illness and former deputy commissioner at FDA, during the keynote address

“The fact that FDA can’t go on that [feedlot] – does not have the legal authority to go in and sample, even in an outbreak response situation?...That’s a travesty. That gets me pretty agitated.”
—Taylor, in response to a question after that address

“We in industry are very good at collecting data. We do testing like nobody’s business. But assessing data? That’s somebody else’s job. We just put it in a drawer or in a filing cabinet, and unless there’s a problem, we don’t look at it.”
Purnendu Vasavada, professor emeritus of food science, University of Wisconsin at River Falls

“This is where many traceability solutions fail: Traceability usually happens inside the plants, but that’s completely not linked to what happens outside the plants.”
Davide Picciotto, industry director, Siemens Digital Enterprise

“You don’t have to stretch to say that there are 100 or maybe 200 things that could go wrong just in a pizza that would make somebody sick, or maybe worse.”
Ron Stakland, director of business management, FoodChain ID

“The first rule of blockchain is: You don’t need blockchain.”
Sean Leighton, global VP of food safety, Cargill