The Food industry Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University is currently hosting a visit by the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP) which is based in Des Moines, Iowa but whose membership spans the Globe.
The delegation includes Mr David Tharp, Executive Director of IAFP and Dr Don Schaffner, an eminent food microbiologist from Rutgers University in the US. Dr Schaffner is this year's President of the organisation. The IAFP has over 5000 members globally with various US states and member countries hosting local meetings. Cardiff Metropolitan University has been the driving force behind the UKAFP for the past 10 years and hosts the UKAFP meeting on Tuesday 13th May at the Village Hotel in Cardiff.
David Lloyd, the Director of the Food Industry Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University commented "we are delighted to welcome out American guests to this year's conference, where both US delegates will give presentations. Dr Schaffner is a widely respected food microbiologist who has developed an international reputation for his applied scientific research in the field of food safety microbiology".
Food safety related problems are a concern throughout the world, however the factors in food contamination are very many and varied. Poverty, climate, and geography can all be factors, as well as behavioural factors such as diet choice, food safety practices and even food fraud activity, as witnessed in the horsemeat scandal.
The conference will hear from EU and US based food safety experts on microbiological risks to food and the factors influencing the management of these risks, as well as trends in food purchasing.
The US delegation will also spend part of their visit exploring potential venues for the European conference which is organised annually by the IAFP and visits different European cities. If successful, Cardiff will become the first UK city to host the conference in May 2015.
David Lloyd added "The hosting of such a prestigious event would be a significant financial benefit to the city with an estimated 300-400 food specialists from across the EU and US visiting the city in the spring of 2015. The conference would also highlight the ability of Cardiff Metropolitan University to both attract and support international events in the City".