Robert Gravani speaking at IAFP 2021 in Phoenix
Robert Gravani speaking at IAFP 2021 in Phoenix
Jason Brill

Day 1 of IAFP 2021 Included Awards, an Opening Lecture and More

The first day of the International Association for Food Protection's event included a presentation by Cornell University's Robert Gravani.

July 19, 2021

Editor's Note: QA staff are on the ground in Phoenix for this year's IAFP 2021. Follow us on Twitter for live updates.

PHOENIX — The International Association for Food Protection's IAFP 2021 kicked off last night in sweltering-yet-scenic Phoenix. The association's annual meeting, an in-person/virtual hybrid after last year's virtual affair, started with welcome comments from IAFP President Roger Cook, an update from IAFP Foundation Chairperson Gary Acuff and an awards presentation. 

Awards were given out to the following:

  • Peanut Proud Student Scholarship: Daniel Vega
  • Student Travel Scholarship Awards: Jessica Brown, Shiyu Cai, Bienvenido Cortes, Devin Daeschel, Adwoa Dankwa, Minh Duong, Marina Girbal, Sarah L. Jones, Karuna Kharel, Minji Kim, Brenda Moraa Kimang’a, Xingchen Liu, Ajay Mittal, Owade Joshua Ombaka, Solomon Rajkumar Racharla, Keshnee Reega, Anna Townsend, Joseph Wambui, Christina Wormald, Jiyoon Yi
  • Health or Agriculture Department Employees in North America: Jennifer Eberly
  • Food Safety Professional in a Country with a Developing Economy: Kubir Nath Bhattarai, Titilayo Falada, Amin Olaimat
  • Fellows Award: Jianghong Meng, director, Joint Institute for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition, University of Maryland

IAFP 2021 Exhibit Hall

After the awards, Robert Gravani, professor emeritus of food science at Cornell University, delivered the Ivan Park Lecture. His presentation, "It's About People, Isn't It," focused on food safety culture and more. He drew comparisons to companies such as Hershey and Wegmans, which focus on company culture, to explain their success. 

"Although food safety has always been a priority, Hershey sought to embed that fundamental value into their culture ... across the organization and internationally. And for Hershey, it was a little different because they didn't have a huge focus on food safety because of some catalyzing event. They didn't have a large scale recall. ... It was the right thing to do," Gravani said.

IAFP 2021 Exhibit Hall

The evening wrapped up in the Exhibit Hall (editor's note: where you can catch QA in aisle 100) for a cheese and wine reception.