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The Center for Produce Safety at the University of California-Davis announced that it will host a Produce Research Symposium on Wednesday, June 23, at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of the University of California-Davis. The format of the symposium will allow for open dialogue between research scientists and produce industry leaders looking for real-world applications to food safety issues. Results of 11 CPS-funded research projects will be showcased throughout the day. Principal investigators will briefly present their studies then join panel discussions about the practical implications of the research, allowing time for audience questions. The forums will be grouped thematically around key research priorities related to real-world harvest practices, such as survivability of E. coli and Salmonella, testing methods, and transfer agents. To set the stage, Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, executive director of the center, will provide an overview of the center, including its mission, approach and partners. "CPS has gone from concept to reality in the past 18 months," Bruce Taylor, chief executive officer of Taylor Farms, which provided initial funding for the organization, said in a March 9 press release. "I think the produce community will be impressed not only by the scientific progress to date, but also the collaborative process CPS has developed to address critical knowledge gaps most efficiently." Attendees will include all members of the produce supply chain who have interest in ensuring the safety of fresh produce, including grower-shipper organizations, distributors, retailers, foodservice companies and industry regulators.

A $125 early bird registration fee ($150 after May 28, 2010) includes all symposium sessions, breakfast, lunch, and an evening reception in the courtyard and gardens of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine & Food Science. Additional registration and event details will be available by March 22 on the CPS web site.