Institute of Food Technologies Conference (2022)

Bill Marler joined a panel of food safety leaders and presented to conference attendees in a session called, "Recalls, Outbreak Response: The Current Safety Landscape, Trends and Future".

Bill Marler shared his experience during the Jack in the Box outbreak of 1993. He discussed the complexity of the supply chain and the potential for contamination as products move through multiple touch-points.

Several panelists discussed ways in which risk can be mitigated, these included:

  • Preventative Measures - Ensuring food is produced in a way that won't cause harm.
  • Supplier Management - Compliance by food suppliers.
  • Production Controls - Temp control systems, anti-microbial rinses and environmental monitoring
  • Product testing/monitoring - Thermometers, lab test, metal detection
  • Minimizing contamination in retail space
  • Including food handling instructions for consumers

Lastly, the panel weighed in on how corrective actions can address failures when there is a foodborne outbreak. These measures included:

  • Recalls - ensuring that all potentially harmful products are removed from the supply chain
  • Investigation - an extensive and coordinated effort by public health officials and industry to identify the cause of harm
  • Redesign - improve preventative measures and food safety systems and recall protocol

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