(Washington, DC) The National Restaurant Association and National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced today they will hold “Produce Safety & The Foodservice Industry: A Farm-to-Table Conference” in Monterey, Calif., March 29 to March 30, 2007. The conference is sponsored by Taco Bell.

“We are pleased to produce this conference to assist restaurant operators, retailers, suppliers, food safety experts, scientists and government partners in examining all aspects of produce safety,” said Peter Kilgore, acting interim president and chief executive officer. “In light of recent E. coli and other foodborne illness outbreaks, we hope that this conference will set the stage for restaurant-industry professionals to work with suppliers and government to enhance produce safety.”

The conference, which is open to the entire farm-to-table supply chain, is designed to educate leaders at all levels of the food supply chain about efforts necessary to improve produce safety, as well as advocate strong and effective legislative and regulatory actions at the federal and state levels to improve the safety of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Topics of discussion at the conference will include:

– The latest statistics on food-borne illness outbreaks related to produce safety

– Epidemiological investigations at the farm and supply chain levels

– Legislative and regulatory efforts to enhance product safety

– Lessons learned from the meat industry to control pathogens and reduce risk

– Steps taken by national and regional produce organizations to respond to outbreaks and improve the safety of fresh fruits and vegetables

– Farm-to-table supply-chain perspectives on produce safety

– Consumer confidence in produce safety – and how this affects restaurants

– The development of restaurant-industry requirements for produce vendors

To view the full conference agenda and register for the conference, please visit the National Restaurant Association website: http://www.restaurant.org/produceconference

“The NRAEF is committed to educating the industry on the importance of food safety training, and we are proud to sponsor this valuable conference,” stated Mary M. Adolf, president and chief operating officer, NRAEF. “We hope that through this beneficial partnership, we can help guide the industry towards serving the safest food possible, from the farm to the table.”

The conference will be held at the Monterey Marriott Hotel in Monterey, Calif., March 29 to March 30, 2007. Members of the media are invited to attend. The registration fee for media is $50 per person. For more information, please contact Chrissy Shott with the National Restaurant Association at (202) 331-5902.

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