Amid recent food product recalls, food safety and traceability continue to be top priorities in the dairy industry. From implementation of appropriate safety protocols to compliance with regulatory requirements to what’s on the horizon to provide enhanced traceability, the International Dairy Show will offer a wide range of educational sessions and on-floor presentations focused on food safety. The show will be held Sept. 13-15 at the Dallas Convention Center.

"Access to information, technology and best practices that dairy food companies need to maintain the highest standards of safety is a major benefit to participation in the International Dairy Show," said Clay Detlefsen, vice president for regulatory affairs for Washington, D.C.-based IDFA. "Constant vigilance and improvement to all safety-related operational issues are imperative to keeping consumers safe and on our side."

The educational sessions on food safety and traceability will include:

Monday, Sept. 13

•    "One Size Does Not Fit All: Third-Party Certification”
The Food and Drug Administration has overseen the largest food recalls in history, driven by food-safety failures in ingredients, which is why dairy customers are requiring third-party certification programs. Attendees will get an overview of the schemes endorsed by the Global Food Safety Initiative to better understand this private food safety environment and how GFSI can work for them.

•    “Federal Food-Defense Tools”
FDA has developed a number of tools that make food-defense planning easy for small and medium-sized companies. Attendees will learn more about how to take advantage of FDA's industry guidance documents and tools that apply to dairy processing operations: Alert and FIRST. Attendees will also hear more about two of FDA's newest entries in the toolbox: CARVER Software and The Mitigation Tools Database.

Tuesday, Sept. 14

•    “Rapid Microbial-Detection Systems”
Dairy customers and new federal and state regulations affecting the food industry are requiring more microbiological product testing, with product held until the testing results are available. Rapid microbiological testing is advancing rapidly and all dairy companies should utilize this new technology to address existing customer needs as well as to position themselves for new customers. Rapid microbiological testing also reduces product hold time at processing plants and can improve process control of dairy products.

•    “Vulnerability Assessments: What We All Can Learn From the Ice Cream Experience”
Vulnerability assessments, the process used to identify, quantify and prioritize the weaknesses in a system, have been used by federal and state governments and the private sector since 2001 with mixed results. Recently the ice cream industry conducted a vulnerability assessment with FDA. Attendees will learn more about the results and lessons learned.

•    “Full Dairy Traceability”
Tracing ingredients is getting easier, but there are still limitations to tracking all process steps that a dairy product takes from farm to fridge. Attendees will learn what's available now to provide enhanced dairy traceability and view a live demonstration of traceability software.

Wednesday, Sept. 15

•    “21st Century Regulatory Environment”
Attendees will find out what changes their dairy company will need to make to come into compliance with pending federal food-safety legislation and how the substantial updating of FDA's Good Manufacturing Practices, the 2009 FDA Reportable Food Registry and the FDA food transportation initiative will affect operations. Food safety and defense has the potential to be the most important game changer in the dairy industry. Attendees will learn what they need to be prepared for significant new oversight and scrutiny of dairy plant processing operations.

•    “Risk Communication Strategies for Food Defense”
Risk communication as a mitigation strategy is something for firms to consider before, during and after an intentional food system event. Validated risk communication practices and messaging approaches will be presented.

•    “Wave of the Future: Regulatory & Technology Hurdles for Shelf-Stable Dairy Beverages”
In response to expanding market demand, the dairy industry is using newer aseptic processing and packaging systems with higher production volumes and increased energy efficiency. Attendees will find out that FDA's modernized regulations change aseptic processing and filing requirements and learn what the impact of the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments' (NCIMS) updated national regulations will be to all aseptically processed and packaged Grade "A" systems.

•    “Agent Behavior in Dairy Systems and Criticality Assessments of Dairy at a State Level”
Understanding how threat agents behave in food systems is critical to assessing the vulnerability of any food system. Attendees will review new results on certain threat agents’ behavior in dairy products and learn more about the results of the use of the Food and Agriculture Criticality Assessment Tool on a state level dairy system.

Additional presentations on food safety and traceability will be available in the iDairyShow on-floor presentation area.

The International Dairy Show will feature the newest innovations in technology, packaging, ingredients and services for the dairy foods industry. Educational sessions will offer solutions that span the entire manufacturing process, and attendees will have the opportunity to visit exhibits displaying everything dairy companies need to run more efficiently, create new products and improve profitability.

For additional information on sessions, speakers and demonstrations, visit or contact Robin Cornelison, IDFA tradeshow manager, at

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies representing a $110-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's 220 dairy processing members run more than 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85% of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States. IDFA can be found online at

Jeannette Roeder