MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Canada — Maple Leaf Foods last week hosted its 11th Food Safety Symposium in partnership with the Alliance to Stop Foodborne Illness (STOP Alliance) as part of the company's ongoing commitment to enhance food safety across the global food supply chain.
With the theme "Speak to the Heart to Move the Mind: How Foodborne Illness Storytelling Can Lead to Better Food Safety Outcomes," Maple Leaf Foods and the STOP Alliance created an agenda that leveraged compelling, personal stories of individuals and families who have been impacted by severe foodborne illnesses, underscoring why food safety must be a central focus of the food system.
The symposium featured keynote speaker AnnMarie McDade, a registered dietitian at the STOP Alliance who has been personally impacted by foodborne illness. "In 1999, I sadly lost my son James Daniel to Listeria monocytogenes," McDade said. "An unwavering focus on food safety is critically important, and through partnerships and honest dialogue with companies across the food supply chain, a world without foodborne illnesses could be within our reach."
In addition, food safety experts Michael Taylor, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deputy commissioner, and Frank Yiannas, current FDA deputy commissioner moderated panels where leading researchers, U.S. and Canadian government representatives, consumer advocates and CEOs and leaders from Chipotle, Mars, Conagra Brands, Kellogg Company, Miniat Holdings and Maple Leaf Foods shared insights, research and strategies about driving company food safety culture from the top, and supporting and engaging front line employees.
The annual Food Safety Symposium is a key Maple Leaf Foods initiative and part of the company's commitment to be a global food safety leader, the company said.
"Our annual Maple Leaf Foods Food Safety Symposium strives to create a collaborative atmosphere that engages people along the food supply chain, from the c-suite to front-line associates, in building a safer global food supply," said Randy Huffman, chief food safety and sustainability officer at Maple Leaf Foods. "In partnering with the STOP Alliance for the 2021 Symposium, we leveraged the power of storytelling to understand the impact of foodborne illness from those who have been directly and tragically affected. Through this effort, we hope to inspire everyone involved in food production to continue the fight to reduce and ultimately eliminate foodborne illness."