The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) will coordinate a research symposium to showcase the current science that has been selected by CPS to address food safety needs. The event will be held in Florida, June 2011. There will be thirteen projects highlighted that represent on-farm production, post harvest process and distribution. The scientists selected are from California, Oklahoma, Delaware, Florida, Oregon and Israel. Projects were awarded to extension, campus and agency scientist.
Non-Technical Summary: The Center for Produce Safety will coordinate a research symposium to showcase the current science that has been selected by CPS to address food safety needs. The event will be in Florida, June 2011. There will be thirteen projects presented that represent on-farm production, post-harvest process and distribution. The presenting scientists represent academic and private institutions in California, Oklahoma, Delaware, Florida, Oregon and Israel. Projects were awarded to extension, university and agency scientists. The purpose of the symposium is to present the final results of research funded by CPS and, specifically, to discuss the implications of those results from two distinct perspectives: that of the scientist/principal investigator and that of growers-shipper whose farm and/or processing practices may be impacted by the findings. There will also be comment and questions from regulatory officials, retail and food service representatives. This event will be used to explain the importance, degree of difficulty and challenges that research presents. As is often suggested in food safety discussions, more research is needed. This event will convey the degree of difficulty in designing a research question that will encourage scientists to submit proposals and will result in needed information. Additional goals include showcasing research that is currently underway and will be presented at the following year's symposium, as well as explaining the process CPS and its partners use to set research priorities and review proposals. CPS will highlight the benefits of collaborations between public and private institutions, researchers, and regulatory agencies. CPS will promote the event and encourage participation by Cooperative Extension farm advisors, graduate students, state agencies, commodity boards and trade associations, environmental groups, consumer groups, retail buyers and other stakeholders. <P> Approach: Method of Announcement or invitation to be used: The Center for Produce Safety will utilize an extensive mailing list of scientists, regulatory agencies, produce buyers and allied industry to help spread the news about the upcoming symposium. The CPS Advisory Board and CPS Technical Committee (member lists attached) will also support the promotion of the event through their independent resources. The trade media will be informed; the CPS website will have details. CPS will also reach out to industry and scientific associations not directly represented on the CPS Advisory Board or Technical Committee. The event will be announced January, 2011; a formal publicity effort will continue from that date to the day of the symposium. Each symposium attendee will receive an evaluation form. The forms will be reviewed and used to make adjustments at future events. The Center for Produce Safety Advisory Board, CPS Technical Committee, presenting scientists, symposium sponsors and agencies involved with planning the event will also provide feedback and will assist with the event evaluation. Media coverage will also be analyzed. Final project reports will be posted on the CPS website. Summaries of the results will be distributed by CPS, CPS Advisory Board, CPS Technical Committee along with their respective organizations and companies.