Arkansas Association

for Food Protection

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Arkansas Association for Food Protection and American Society for Microbiology
Annual Educational Conference
Thursday, Sept. 11-Friday, Sept. 12-Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014
Chancellor Hotel
70 N. East Ave.
Fayetteville, Ark.

2014 conference program, speakers biographical sketches and poster abstracts

Sign up here for the conference: $40 for AAFP members, $65 for non-members

Exploration of Emerging Issues in Food Safety

We are proud to announce the Arkansas Association for Food Protection and American Society for Microbiology are co-hosting the Annual Educational Conference, which will help us to continue to provide one of the top regional conferences in the United States.  The conference will again be at the Chancellor Hotel conference facilities on the beautiful downtown Fayetteville square.

Please mark Sept. 11-13 (Thursday to Saturday) as the dates for our Annual Educational Conference.  AAFP will focus upon presentations Thursday and Friday, while ASM focuses on presentations on Friday and Saturday. Attendees can participate in both ASM and AAFP presentations with the single admission charge.

The South Central Branch of the American Society for Microbiology was founded in 1947. The branch includes microbiologists from Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Over 700 microbiologists and medical scientists at universities, hospitals, and research institutes in the three states of the branch are members of the ASM. The yearly meetings of the branch are highly successful and play an essential role as a forum for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and young faculty members to experience scientific meetings at the regional level.

Those who attend the joint conference are going to reap the benefits of the following:

  • ASM’s nationally acclaimed speakers
  • AAFP’s Global Corporations and Commercial aspect of research.
  • AAFP and ASM provide academic and research experts that cover organisms that affect all aspects of life.
  • ASM’s career fair element at the conference bridges any interested industry. Job seekers can search for jobs and connect with registered employers.  Employers can search a resume/cv database and connect with great candidates
AAFP and ASM will provide scientific presentations of diverse applications from consumer use, medical, food production, environmental, veterinary sciences, etc.


As a premier farm-to-fork region with some of the world’s largest companies in food safety, AAFP has the obligation to explore and provide cutting edge research about emerging pathogen and adulterant issues. The Arkansas chapter of AAFP is rare in that we have the world’s largest retailer/grocer, the largest meat company, and leading distribution/refrigerated transport companies headquartered within our state. We have an impressive and diverse group of food processors, produce, poultry, and livestock growers located around the state ranging from produce, fruit, prepared meals, canned foods, frozen foods, juices, wine, meat, sliced meats, etc. We have nationally prominent schools of agriculture and business, as well as the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s nationally recognized Center for Food Safety to support Arkansas’ farm to fork supply chain.   

The South Central Branch of ASM includes microbiologists over 700 microbiologists and medical scientists at universities, hospitals, and research institutes in from Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide.

South Central Branch-American Society for Microbiology 2014 Program Agenda.

AAFP 2014 Tentative Agenda

Eureka Springs Ballroom, Chancellor Hotel


1 p.m.  – Welcome address
Nancy Gushing, OK Foods, President-elect of Arkansas AAFP
Introductory remarks: Speaker: Michael Sostrin, Walmart – Produce Merchandising, Bentonville, AR

Mini-Symposia I: Emerging Issues in Fresh Produce
 – Kristen Gibson, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Center for Food Safety

1:10 p.m. – Speaker: Michael Hensley, Harrod & Hensley Tomato Co., Hermitage, AR. Tomato Production and Potential Food Safety Concerns.

1:40 p.m. – Speaker: Tejinder Singh, Windset Farms, Delta, BC. Food Safety Concerns related to Greenhouse Production of Fresh Produce.

2:10 p.m. – Speaker: Trevor Suslow, University of California, Davis, CA. Fresh Produce Storage/Packaging and the Role in Food Safety

2:45 p.m. – Break and poster viewing 

Moderator – Kristen Gibson

3:10 p.m. – Speaker: Tara Shasteen, J.B. Hunt, Lowell, AR. Logistic and Food Safety: From Pickup to Delivery.

3:40 p.m. – Speaker: Jay Neal, University of Houston, Fresh Produce Safety at Retail.

4:10 p.m. – Panel discussion and roundtable

Mini Symposia II: Keys to Food Safety: Your Customers and Your Employees
-- TBA

1:10 p.m. – Speaker: Phil Crandall, Professor, Food Science, University of Arkansas. Do You Know What Your Customers Are Willing to Pay for Safer Food?

1:40 p.m. – Speaker: Dale Grinstead, Sr. Food Safety Technology Fellow, Sealed Air Corporation. Gaining Commitment to a Food Safety Plan, Getting Your Employees’ Buy-In.

2:10 p.m. – Speaker: John Delery, Professor and Raymond F. Orr Chair, Department of Management, University of Arkansas. Understanding and Controlling Employee Retention and Turnover.

2:55 p.m. – Break and poster viewing 

3:10 p.m. -- Beverly Graham or Cynthia Sides or Zoraida Aguilar,
What is Nanotechnology and What Should I Know About the Application of Nanotechnology to Food Products?

5 p.m. – Awards Ceremony
– Mike Sostrin, Walmart Stores

Michael Johnson Graduate Student Scholarship Award – Presenter: Michael Johnson, UA Center for Food Safety, Food Science Dept., University of Arkansas

Sea Star International – Food Safety-Outreach and Education Poster Award – Presenter: Jessica Shabatura, Sea Star International
Vivione – Rapid Detection Methods Poster Award – Presenter: Steve Roon or Melinda Miller
IEH – Intervention Pre-Harvest Poster Award – Presenter: Tristan Geis, IEH
SFC – Intervention Post-Harvest Poster Award – Presenter: Tim Yeaman, SFC
J.B. Hunt – Other and Miscellaneous Poster Award – Presenter: Tara Shasteen, J.B. Hunt
UA Center for Food Safety – Foodborne Pathogens-Fundamental Understanding Poster Award – Presenter: Steven C. Ricke, Director, UA Center for Food Safety
Business Meeting; Social networking and dinner on your own

6:00 p.m. – Social networking and dinner on your own


8 a.m. – Welcome address: Jim M. Rankin, University of Arkansas Vice Provost for Research and Economic Development.

Mini-Symposia: Egg Food Microbiology and Safety
s – Gregory R. Siragusa, Sr. Principal Scientist-Microbiology, DuPont Nutrition & Health, Waukesha, WI and Gary Acuff, Center for Food Safety, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX  

8:15 a.m. - Speaker: Deanna Jones, Research Food Technologist, ARS-USDA, Egg Safety and Quality Research Unit, Athens, GA. Unlocking the Mystery of Hen Housing and Egg Safety

8:45 a.m. – Speaker: Doug Korver, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Laying Hen Immunity and Control of Foodborne Illness 

9:15 a.m. – Speaker: Steven Ricke, Center for Food Safety, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, Salmonella and Microbial Contamination in Egg Production and Processing
9:45 a.m. – Break and poster review time

Mini-Symposia: Pet Food Safety

Co-moderators – Carl J. Knueven, Director, Research and Development and Laboratory Services, Jones-Hamilton Co., Waldridge, OH, and Richard G. Shields, Jr., Executive Vice President, Technical Services, Simmons Pet Food, Inc.
10:15 a.m. – Speaker: John Dickerson, Manager, North American Pet Food Technology, Cargill Animal Nutrition. Pet Food Safety, an Industry Perspective
10:45 a.m. – Speaker: Griffiths G. Atungulu, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, Engineering Effective Strategies for Control and Detoxification of Mycotoxins

11:15 a.m. – Speaker: Greg Aldrich, Grain Science & Industry, Kansas State University, Strategies for Eliminating Salmonella in Pet Foods and Animal Feeds: A Preliminary Report.

11:45 a.m. – Lunch (On your own)
Mini-Symposia: Preharvest Food Safety – Current and Future Perspectives

Co-moderators – Michael T. Kidd, Department Head, Center for Poultry Excellence, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, and Si Hong Park, postdoctoral associate, Department of Food Science

1:15 p.m. – Speaker: Todd Callaway, ARS-USDA, College Station TX. Preharvest Interventions in Ruminants and Swine
1:45 p.m. – Speaker: Doug Smith, Diamond V, Preharvest Interventions for Poultry

2:15 p.m. – Speaker: Rebecca Lochmann, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. The Beneficial Effects of a Dairy/Yeast Prebiotic on Production Efficiency of Aquatic Species

2:45 p.m. – Break and poster review time

Mini-Symposia: Emerging Issues in Food Safety and Sustainability
Co-moderators – Phil Crandall, Center for Food Safety, Dept. of Food Science, University of Arkansas, and John Butts, Vice President-Research, Land O’Frost.

3:15 p.m. – Speaker: Dennis J. Colley, Fibre Box Association President. Sustainability in Packaging

3:45 p.m. – Speaker: Greg Thoma, Bates Teaching Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Arkansas. On the Potential Application of Life Cycle Assessment in Food Safety Assessment

4:15 p.m – Speaker: Frank Yiannas, Vice President-Food Safety, Walmart. Food Safety Equals Behavior

4:45 p.m. – Round table discussion

5:15 p.m. Keynote address: Regina Rabinovich, Harvard School of Public Health. Whither Malaria – From Control to Eradication

Student Career Symposia 

8:00 a.m. – Welcome address: Curt Rom, interim dean, University of Arkansas Honors College

Session: Beginning the Career Journey - Career Preparation
 – Maggie Jo Pruitt, graduate assistant, Bumpers College International Programs office University of Arkansas, and Chris Sims, President of Poultry Science Club
8:10 a.m. - Speaker: Sara Milillo, Pennsylvania State University, Academic Perspective on Student Career Preparation

8:30 a.m. – Speaker: Cynthia Sides, Director, IGNITE Program, University of Arkansas, Beyond the Classroom: Opportunities to Augment Your Degree and Pursue Various Careers
8:50 a.m. – –Speaker: Andi Thornbury, Site Manager, CareersInFood.com. Resume Writing for Results
9:10 a.m. – Break and networking time

Session: Traveling on the Career Journey - Career Choices, Opportunities and Decisions
Co-moderators – Sara Milillo, Pennsylvania State University, and Nathan Jarvis, Distinguished Doctoral Fellow, Department of Food Science, University of Arkansas
9:20 a.m. – Speaker:  Kristina Murdaugh, Candidate Relations Manager, CareersInFood.com, Turning an Interview into an Offer
9:40 a.m. – Speaker: Brian Davis, Simmons Foods, Siloam Springs, AR, Interviewing Skills and Marketability -Tips From Industry To Increase Success
10:00 a.m. – Speaker: Steve Foley, FDA, Jefferson, AR, Overview, Training and Microbiological Research at FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research
10:20 a.m. – Break and networking time
Session: Reaching the Career Journey’s Destination – It Is Not Always What You Think It Will Be!

Co-moderators – Cynthia Sides, Director, IGNITE Program, University of Arkansas and Sarah Mayfield, University of Arkansas
10:30 a.m. – Speaker: B.J. Bench, Chemist, Food Safety & Research Laboratory, Tyson Foods Inc., Springdale, AR. Careers in Industry
10:50 a.m. – Speaker: Kristen Gibson, Dept. of Food Science, University of Arkansas, What to Expect When Starting Your Own Research Program
11:10 a.m. – Speaker: Ellen Brune, Chief Scientific Officer, Boston Mountain Biotech, LLC, Fayetteville, AR. Evolution: From Researcher to Start-up Founder
11:30 a.m. – Break and networking
Noon – Lunch (TBD)


Bio-Rad will host a Lunch and Learn on Friday, September 12. Methods will be presented for threshold detection of Salmonella from carcass rinses by direct PCR without enrichment as well as methods for detection of Salmonella from food after a single 8 hour enrichment.  You may sign up now by email (mike_clark@bio-rad.com) or during registration.


VENUE - The Chancellor Hotel

bedroom   banquet

The Chancellor Hotel offers spacious, modern accommodations and impeccable service, as well as a variety of thoughtful amenities that set us apart from other upscale hotels in Fayetteville.  The Chancellor Hotel in Fayetteville is near Walmart headquarters and other major businesses in Bentonville, Rogers and Fayetteville.

The Chancellor Hotel offers stylish new group accommodations and hotel meeting and event space in a convenient downtown Fayetteville location. For those planning a social or business event, our beautifully appointed ballroom and meeting rooms are the perfect environment for chic celebrations and business events alike.

With 14,000 square feet of sophisticated meeting and event space, The Chancellor Hotel is the premier event venue in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Our Eureka Springs Ballroom offers 4,800 square feet of elegant event space ideal for Fayetteville weddings, business conferences and other important events, and our five other event rooms are perfect for smaller soirees, breakout sessions and board meetings.

Click here to see our conference room floor plans.

During your stay at The Chancellor, enjoy a leisurely swim in our indoor/outdoor swimming pool, work out in our state-of-the-art fitness facility, get down to business in our business center equipped with both Macs and PCs, or relax with a glass of wine or a cocktail at 6494 Bistro, our restaurant and lounge.

Other hotel accommodations in Fayetteville are listed at http://experiencefayetteville.com/lodging.  


The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport has an assortment of direct flights.

Maps and directions to get to and from the airport.

Map and directions to the conference venue/hotel. 

Fayetteville information.

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