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Wilmington, December 21, 2005

Food Quality Award 2005

Food Industry Leaders Attend 5th Annual Food Quality Award Ceremony

Key players from various parts of the food industry came together recently at the 2005 Food Quality Award ceremonies hosted by DuPont Qualicon.  The event, held at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Del., gave attendees a unique opportunity to spend the day gaining practical information and sharing experiences about keeping our food supply safe.  It also provided a forum for honoring SYSCO Corporation and Tyson Food Safety and Laboratory Services as the co-winners of the 5th Annual Food Quality Award, given in recognition of significant achievements in food quality and safety. 

“We were pleased to host this important industry event for the second year in a row,” said Ravi Ramadhar, global marketing manager, DuPont Qualicon.  “It gave us another way to deliver on our commitment of helping food companies improve and sustain their profitability while protecting the food supply and their brand name equity.  We were also honored to showcase this year’s Food Quality Award co-winners and provide a fitting celebration for the recipients and their peers.”

Guest speakers at the forum included:  Frank Yiannas, Ph.D., safety and health director, Walt Disney World Company; Thomas J. Billy, former chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and current president of International Food Safety Consultants, LLC; and Robert Brackett, Ph.D., director, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The keynote address was given by Yiannas, who spoke about the need to influence behavior to create a culture of food safety.  Yiannas stressed that as an industry, we must be adaptable and amenable to change.  He also explained that through incorporation of best practices from other disciplines we can positively impact food safety.

Billy spoke about Codex and its role in food safety, quality and technology.  He outlined the new challenges for Codex and national governments, which include risk of food-borne bio-terrorism, increasing concern regarding food-borne diseases and the impact of new technology and food products in the global marketplace.  He also discussed how the Codex Commission is preparing for the future. 

Brackett’s presentation also addressed new challenges for the food safety system. Specifically, he spoke of emerging threats, changes in technology and global market forces.  He noted that changes in philosophy are needed to meet these challenges and that the industry must focus on new and better ways to accomplish food safety objectives.  He concluded by discussing the role of technology, stating that it must be rapid, accurate and affordable; go beyond simple detection; be flexible; and lend itself to international scrutiny and harmonization.

In addition to the guest speakers, several experts from DuPont spoke about the future of food safety.  Peter Mrozinski, Ph.D., manager of new business development, DuPont Qualicon, discussed emerging technologies for pathogen detection in food.  Ramadhar spoke about how DuPont Qualicon is working to deliver a fully integrated system of food testing solutions and discussed the recent alliance with Applied Biosystems.  Donna Visioli, Ph.D., senior technical program manager, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers shared key industry learnings from a recent consumer survey and described DuPont packaging innovations that secure freshness and safety.

Following the speakers’ presentations, Kevin Huttman, president of DuPont Qualicon, and Rick Biros, publisher of Food Quality Magazine, presented the 5th Annual Food Quality Award to SYSCO Corporation and Tyson Foods. 

Shane Sampels, director of quality assurance, accepted the award on behalf of SYSCO Corporation.  Headquartered in Houston, Tex., SYSCO Corporation is the number one food service marketer and distributor in North America.  Ten unique food quality and safety programs, several of which Samples outlined in his presentation, helped SYSCO Corporation stand out from the competition.

Neal Apple, vice president of food safety and lab services, and Vanessa Cook, QA manager, accepted the award on behalf of Tyson Foods.  Headquartered in Springdale, Ark., Tyson Foods is the world’s largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef and pork. One of the features that made Tyson Foods an award winner is the Tyson Food Safety and Laboratory Service Network, which operates as both an independent function relative to operations and as a service organization to assist with continuous improvement in food safety.  Apple and Cook showed videos that demonstrated Tyson Foods’ expertise in action. 

“On behalf of Food Quality Magazine, I want to thank DuPont Qualicon for once again sponsoring the Food Quality Award and hosting this special event,” said Biros.  “The program of guest speakers was outstanding and the awards reception and dinner, held at the exclusive Brantwyn Mansion, was a wonderful way to honor our award winners.” 

For more information about this event or to obtain information about participating in the 2006 Food Quality Award event, contact Mark DeSorbo, Carpe Diem Communications 215.860.7800 ext 14.

DuPont Qualicon provides the most advanced molecular technologies for pathogen screening.  The award-winning BAX® system is used by food companies and government agencies around the world to detect pathogens in raw ingredients, finished products and environmental samples. The patented RiboPrinter® system is the world's only automated DNA fingerprinting instrument that rapidly pinpoints sources of bacteria in pharmaceuticals, personal care products and food.  More information about DuPont Qualicon and its products is available at www.qualicon.com.

DuPont is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.