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Wilmington, Delaware, April 1, 2008

Food Industry Professionals Attend Award Reception Hosted by DuPont Qualicon

More than 400 people associated with the food industry gathered recently at the 7th annual Food Quality Award presentation and reception hosted by DuPont Qualicon.   The event, which was held during the Food Safety & Security Summit in Washington, D.C., gave attendees an opportunity to honor West Liberty Foods as the winner of the 2007 Food Quality Award, to hear insights from business and food safety experts, and to network with other industry professionals. 

Sponsored by DuPont Qualicon and presented by Food Quality Magazine, the Food Quality Award is given each year to a North American QA/QC department or program that has made significant improvements in food safety and quality, with a positive impact on business results.  Selected for this honor because of its innovative methods for increasing sanitation and successful creation of a food safety culture, West Liberty Foods joins an elite group of past winners that includes Hormel Foods, Beef Products Inc. (BPI), Tyson Food Safety & Lab Services, SYSCO Corporation, Franklin Foods, Hygaard Fine Foods Ltd. and East Balt Commissary, Inc. of Chicago.

“The Food Quality Award is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the good news in food safety and honor businesses for the positive, proactive initiatives they undertake to protect our food supply,” said Luiz Fischmann, global marketing manager for DuPont Qualicon.

Accepting the award on behalf of West Liberty Foods was Paul Hill, chairman of the board; Mike DeSmet, vice president food safety and quality; and Leann Smith, senior manager of regulatory and customer compliance.  Headquartered in West Liberty, Iowa, West Liberty Foods is a leading co-packer, private label manufacturer and food service supplier of processed meat and poultry products.  

Following an acceptance speech, DeSmet showed a video that highlighted best practices from his award-winning company.   Hill also spoke briefly, sharing insights about the culture of food safety that West Liberty Foods has created throughout the entire organization.

The keynote address was given by Frank Yiannas, director of safety and health, Walt Disney World Resorts.   Yiannas shared his unique humor and innovative perspectives on creating food safety cultures within business.   In addition to interesting background statistics, such as 44 percent of Americans eat out on a typical day, he showed how one simple dish could have components sourced from around the world, increasing the risk of contamination from many points of entry.   Yiannas concluded that food safety cultures in the future will be created from a blend of both high-tech and high-touch practices.

Other speakers included Craig Binetti, president of DuPont Nutrition & Health, who described the effect of three mega trends — demand for greater food security, need for increased food production, and drive for renewable energy and materials — on the world’s food supply, and DuPont’s response through innovative biotechnology.   Rick Biros, founding publisher of Food Quality Magazine, provided historical context to the award and paid tribute to past winners.   Marcos Cantharino, director global sales and marketing, DuPont Qualicon, served as emcee.

DuPont Qualicon provides innovative, science-based diagnostic products for the food industry.  The BAX® system offers advanced DNA-based detection of microbes in food, from raw ingredients to finished products, such as a new Listeria assay that uses reverse-transcriptase PCR for results in just eight hours.  In addition to detecting Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7 and other pathogens, the BAX® system can also be used for yeast and mold quality testing.  For more information about these products, visit www.qualicon.com.

DuPont is a science-based products and services 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 and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.