University of Wisconsin-River Falls

News Source

Sept. 25, 2003

Ag Secretary to Speak at Microbiology Symposium

Wisconsin Agriculture Secr. Rod Nilsestuen will be the keynote speaker at the 23rd International Food Microbiology Symposium and Workshop on Oct. 19, at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Nilsestuen will speak about emerging food safety issues in Wisconsin. His speech is free and open to the public. He will speak at 7 p.m. in the Blue Room of Rodli Commons.

The International Food Microbiology Symposium conference lasts from Oct. 19-22, starting off with Nilsestuen's keynote speech. Nilsestuen, a UW-RF graduate, oversees the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection. He is the former president of the Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives and served as general manager on the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

The microbiology symposium approaches current concepts in foodborne pathogens and rapid and automated methods in food microbiology, drawing as many as 125 participants nationally and internationally. Speakers from academia, business and industry, and government regulatory agencies will provide an overview and update on the pathogens, toxins, and contaminants that may occur in food, water, and the environment.

Discussions will also include strategies and approaches to guarantee safety and reviews of the latest techniques and equipment in rapid detection. A sample of speakers scheduled to present include: Dane Bernard from Keystone Foods, in Philadelphia, Pa.; Bruce Cords from Ecolab, in St. Paul, Minn.; Julian Cox from the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia; and Jocelyne Rocourt from the World Health Organization, in Geneva, Switzerland.

A variety of other speakers are scheduled to present, as well. In addition, technical representatives of select companies involved in developing and marketing instruments and assays for microbiological analysis of food will give brief presentations demonstrating their technology. These demonstrations offer opportunities to discuss applications and suitability of methods for routine microbiological analysis or detection of specific pathogens. A few participating companies are 3M, Alaska Food Diagnostics, BioSys, Inc., and Remel Inc.

The microbiology symposium attracts a diverse community of attendees. The program is appropriate for food scientists, quality assurance supervisors, managers, and technicians, microbiologists involved in food safety, regulatory agency personnel, consultants, and graduate students in food microbiology. Registrations for the symposium are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The $600 fee includes a conference manual, abstracts of various presentations at the symposium, breaks, a banquet on Oct. 21, and participation in the Rapid and Automated Methods in Food Microbiology Workshop.

Additional information on the symposium can be found at

For more information contact Professor Purnendu C. Vasavada at 715/425-3150, or email him at


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