One day after announcing they would soon determine new dates for the annual IAFP conference the association’s leaders did just that, cautiously setting the event for Oct. 25-28.

Originally scheduled for August, the annual conference and meeting of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) was indefinitely postponed earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Monday the board announced dates in the fourth quarter of the year were being considered.

“This meeting will mark the first major food safety conference to take place after so many events were canceled due to COVID-19,” according to IAFP’s Tuesday statement. 

“There are some things that can be done virtually, but many others are best accomplished in face-to-face discussions and meetings. Presentation and discussion of the latest science affecting food safety is one that is best accomplished in person.”

The IAFP event is still set for the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland, OH. Event organizers have set up a page of frequently asked questions.

Anyone who has already registered for the annual conference and meeting and plans to attend the event in October will automatically be registered for the new dates.

The association leadership said in the Tuesday statement that they are working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the Ohio state government on health guidance and practices for the event.

Work is underway to determine which sessions will take place in person and which can be accommodated through virtual presentation formats. The IAFP meeting rooms, exhibit hall, poster sessions, lunch areas, and receptions will all be reconfigured to allow for proper separation, taking into account meeting industry guidance and health agency directives. Attendees will be expected to follow all recommended precautions to prevent transmission of infectious diseases.

“We recognize that attendance will be reduced compared to our normal attendance, but this will help allow for proper social distancing

to take place,” according to the IAFP statement.

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