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Food Science Symposium Features DATCP Secretary

By Kendra Knutson
UW-RF University Communications

OCT. 9, 2006--Rod Nilsestuen, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, will be a speaker at the 26 th annual Food Microbiology Symposium at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Oct. 14-17. Nilsestuen is also a UWRF graduate.  

With the recent E. Coli spinach outbreak in Wisconsin and other states, the symposium is timely in providing workshops and research regarding food safety and quality practices. A related session, "E. Coli in Vegetables," presented by Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, University of Minnesota, will be Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 8 a.m.    

The Food Microbiology Symposium runs features speakers from academia, industry and regulatory agencies that will provide an overview on various topics including: the pathogens, toxins, and contaminants that may occur in food, water, and the environment. The emphasis will be on practical application of food and quality problems.

There will be workshops that include demonstrations and discussion of various tests, instruments and kits available for detection and characterization of food borne organisms, for assessment of food quality and shelf- life and rapid hygiene monitoring in food processing facilities.

The event begins Saturday, Oct. 14, in the Blue Room of Rodli Commons. UW-RF food science Professor and symposium director Purnendu C. Vasavada, and Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Charlie Hurt, will moderate the opening sessions introductions at 7 p.m.

Other speakers include: Vijay Juneja, USDA; David Gombas, International Fresh-Cut Produce Association; Kathy Sullivan Gombas, Dean Foods; Bruce Applegate, Purdue University; Reginald Bennett, FDA; Scott Russell, University of Georgia; Mark Carter, Silliker Labs; Michael Robach, vice president, Corporate Food Safety & Regulatory Affairs, Cargill. Inc.; Roy Betts, Campden & Chorleywood Research Association; George Paoli, USDA; D. H. Kang, Washington State University; and Karen Silbernagel, AOAC.

A special event follows the symposium. 3M's division of microbiology invites those attending the symposium to visit its new customer innovation center and meet key scientists, researcher and others on Tuesday, Oct. 17, from 1 to 5 p.m. Transportation from the symposium will be available.  

The Food Microbiology Symposium attracts a diverse community of attendees from education, industry and business. The program is suitable for food scientists and technologists, quality assurance supervisors, food laboratory directors, microbiologists, consultants, researchers and graduate students interested in food microbiology.

Registrations for the symposium are accepted on a first-come, first served basis. The $600 fee includes conference manual, abstracts of the presentations, meals, breaks, and the banquet on Oct. 16. The symposium is free to UWRF students and faculty.

For additional information on the symposium, email or visit the Web site at, click on the links to workshops and then the link to the Food Microbiology Symposium. For more information, contact Professor P.C. Vasavada, conference director at 715-425-3150.


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:07:38 Central Daylight Time


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