Leading experts from Department of Homeland Security, National Restaurant Association/NRAEF, The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network and more to address industry hot topics

(Chicago, Ill.) Food safety and nutrition are top priorities in the restaurant industry, as nothing is more important to the nation’s 935,000 restaurant-and-foodservice outlets than the health and wellness of their guests. Reflecting the importance of these issues, the 2007 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show®, held May 19-22 at McCormick Place in Chicago, will feature a series of free educational sessions to help educate attendees on pandemic flu, produce safety, trans fats, food allergies, and more. Speakers at these sessions include leading experts, including Alfonso Martinez-Fonts of the Department of Homeland Security; Dr. Donna Garren and Sheila Weiss, R.D. of the National Restaurant Association; Anne Munoz Furlong of The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network; and more.

“Every restaurant operator knows that excellent food safety practices are critical to a successful operation, and as consumer interest in health and nutrition continues to grow, operators are increasing their education on these issues to advance our industry’s longstanding commitment to professionalism in the fields of health and safety,” said William C. Anton, FMP, convention chairman for the 2007 Show, and chairman and founder of Anton Airfood, Inc. “The Show will help them further this commitment and help operators stay up-to-date with the latest information and trends to learn more about how they can address them in their establishments.”

2007 Show educational session highlights include:

Pandemic Flu: Could Your Business Survive? – Monday, May 21, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Discussion of challenges facing the industry in case of an outbreak of pandemic flu in the U.S. Dr. Donna Garren, vice president, Health and Safety Regulatory Affairs for the National Restaurant Association will moderate this panel to provide a better understanding of pandemic flu relating to avian influenza, knowledge of how the government is prepared to handle an epidemic, and strategies for restaurant operators on business continuity. The panel includes: Petra Hochmuth, principal micobiologist, Ecolab; Alfonso Martinez-Fonts, assistant secretary for the private sector office, Department of Homeland Security; and a representative from the National Environmental Health Association.

Produce Safety: Deconstruction of the Supply Chain – Saturday, May 19, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Food safety from farm to fork is non-negotiable, and the food industry is working to ensure the safety of the products they grow, process, or serve. Each supply chain segment has processes in place to address food safety. Learn about the new food-safety protocols being implemented to address recent foodborne illness outbreaks. The expert panel is moderated by Dr. Donna Garren, vice president, health & regulatory affairs, National Restaurant Association, and includes: Jorge Hernandez, vice president food safety & quality assurance, US Foodservice; David Parsley, senior vice president, supply chain management, Applebees International, Inc.; and Tom Chestnut, vice president, food programs-processors, NSF International.

Moving Away From Trans Fats: Reasons, Realities, and Resources – Sunday, May 20, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Several cities and states are proposing trans fat bans in restaurants, and some have already passed these bans. What does this mean for our industry, what are the alternatives, and how do restaurants remove trans fats from their menu items without compromising taste? The panel is moderated by Sheila Weiss, R.D., director of nutrition policy, National Restaurant Association, and includes: Susan Borra, RD, executive vice president, International Food Information Council Foundation; David Dzisisak, global oils commercial leader, Dow AgroSciences LLC; Deanne Brandstetter, director of nutrition, Compass Group, The Americas; and Amanda Rieter, manager, state relations and grassroots, National Restaurant Association.

Food Allergies from a Restaurant Perspective – Tuesday, May 22, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Learn how to manage potential food allergy reactions in a restaurant setting to minimize risk from Anne Munoz Furlong, founder and CEO of The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). Education is key to prevention of these incidents. Restaurateurs will find that food allergic consumers are very loyal to establishments they trust, making education of management and staff teams a wise business decision.

Educational programs will be located in the South Hall, Level 4, of McCormick Place. For a listing of all educational programs offered at the Show, please visit www.restaurant.org/show/events.

Now in its 88th year, the annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals the Western Hemisphere. The 2007 Show will be held May 19-22, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. The Show attracts 2,000 exhibiting companies and 73,000 attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 110 countries. Free, online media registration and more information can be found on the Show Web site at www.restaurant.org/show/media.

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