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National Restaurant Association - Food Safety & Quality Assurance

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Events & Groups

Food Safety & Quality Assurance


Conference registration is open to restaurant operators and those who work for restaurant or hospitality companies. If you are a product or service provider, you are welcome to attend the conference as a sponsor.


Our annual conference brings you face-to-face with experienced colleagues and cutting edge ideas. Speakers and content are focused on responsibilities you handle daily, including FDA insights, food safety regulations, foodborne illness, health inspections and allergens — exclusively as they apply to the restaurant industry.

Orange-film.PNGConference Highlights

Here's an inside look at why you should be at the Food Safety & Quality Assurance conference!


Our group's member-only Listserv is an effective way to ask your colleagues questions, share news, and contribute to discussions on issues important to professionals in your field. To be eligible, you must work full-time in the field of quality assurance for a company that is a restaurant member of the National Restaurant Association. Click here to subscribe. To send questions to the listserv, email qa@lists.restaurant.org.

Pencil-Icon.PNGNew for 2018!

For the first time, you can earn 10.75 hours of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) through the National Environmental Health Association for those with CP-FS and other credentials. 

2018 Agenda

Programming will be held in the Ritz-Carlton Ballroom located on the lobby level of the hotel.

Tuesday, Oct. 9

11 a.m. Registration open in the Ballroom Foyer
12 p.m. - 1 p.m. Lunch and Sponsor Introductions
1 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.      Welcome and Introductions

Food Safety & Quality Assurance Chair
1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. FDA Federal Regulatory Update
  Current issues in retail food safety related to foodservice and retail will be discussed. 
2:30 p.m. - 3 p.m. Networking Break
3 p.m. - 4 p.m. Ozone Technology in Your Restaurant
  Learn practical applications to keep produce safe in your food establishment. 
5 p.m. - 6 p.m.                 Opening Reception

Wednesday, Oct. 10

6 a.m. - 6:45 a.m. FSQA Morning Run/Walk
  Pack your running shoes! We are hosting a morning run/walk through St. Louis to kick off the day. 
7 a.m. - 8 a.m.                  Breakfast
8 a.m. - 9 a.m. Restaurant Industry 2018 and Beyond
  The U.S. restaurant market has evolved into a $825+ billion mega-industry, spanning dozens of distinct segments - from tableservice and quickservice restaurants, to institutional and military foodservice, to non-traditional locations. A convergence of rapidly moving trends in technology, consumer demographics, labor-force composition, food and economics is reshaping the historical restaurant model and altering future foodservice and supplier markets.

New data from the National Restaurant Association will offer strategic insights into the restaurant industry's unique opportunities and challenges in meeting a growing demand for food prepared away from home.
9 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Transition Break
9:15 a.m. - 11 a.m. Keynote Presentation: Cellular Agriculture and The Future of Food
  The ability to harness the biological building blocks of life itself will allow us to design new food products and experiences that reorient our paradigms from the animal-level down to the cellular-level up. This new approach to food production poses unique challenges and opportunities for the future of food safety and quality assurance.

We'll also learn how ServSafe is looking at the future of food safety and the impact it will have on the industry. 
11 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Hot Topics Roundtable
  Attendee-led conversations about what keeps you up at night
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.  Home Food Delivery: Food Safety & Liability Concerns 
  An increasing number of food products are being delivered straight to consumers' homes directly from food processing facilities, restaurant and grocery chains, and online retailers. The means used to deliver these foods are limited only by the imagination, and include standard mail, overnight delivery, automobile deliveries and potentially even drones.

While the convenience of these emerging services and technologies is unmistakable, they add increasing risk to an already risky business of consistently providing safe food. When things go wrong, who is at fault and what are the limits of liability?
1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Defining the Future of Food Safety and Quality Assurance
  In this session, Dr. Detwiler brings case studies and historical context from the landscape of food safety regulations and foodborne illness - exclusively as they apply to the restaurant industry. The session will include a deep dive into likelihood and severity models. Participants will take away a fresh look at imperatives (such as legal, economic, and public health), brand reputation, and new traceability technologies (such as Blockchain.)
2:30 p.m. - 3 p.m. Networking Break
3 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Food Safety Labeling for Frozen Food
  Every recall impacts consumer confidence in the safety of the food supply. This session will examine the pivotal role consumer food safety education plays in advancing food safety and provide take-away strategies for changing people's food safety knowledge and behaviors in reducing the risk of listeriosis.
3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. Business Meeting (operators only)
5 p.m. Dinner on your own

Thursday, Oct. 11

8 a.m. - 9 a.m.                 Breakfast                                 
9 a.m. - 10 a.m. Are You Ready for the Worst?                                                       
  You work hard to ensure it never happens, but do you know what to do if your restaurant has a food borne illness outbreak?  CIFOR Industry Work Group member, John Zimmermann, will share some guidance and tools developed for and by operators on how to prepare and manage a foodborne illness outbreak response.
10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Networking Break
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Best Practices in Hep-A Surveillance
11:30 a.m. - Noon Closing Remarks


National Restaurant Association 
National Restaurant Association
$499 $899
*Sending your team? Contact us at membership@restaurant.org to add their names and email addresses to your company's roster to ensure they receive the member rate. 
Operator Cancellation Policy: Cancellations received by 11:59 pm ET on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 will be fully refunded. Cancellations between Sept. 8-21, 2018 will be assessed a 50% administration fee. Cancellations after Sept. 21, 2018 will not receive a refund. For more information, please contact nrameetings@restaurant.org.

Hotel Accommodations

Ritz-Carlton St. Louis
100 Carondelet Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63105

The hotel room block at The Ritz-Carlton is sold out.
Two nearby hotels that have availablity during the conference are listed below: 

7 minute walk to The Ritz-Carlton:
Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel St. Louis
7730 Bonhomme Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63105
(314) 863-0400

15 minute drive to The Ritz-Carlton:
The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta
212 Kingshighway Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108
(314) 633-3000

Airline Discounts

United and Delta offer discounts up to 10% off published fares based on booking class for Food Safety and Quality Assurance conference attendees. 

To save, book online at United.com/meetingtravel and enter ZZ3J730597 in the Offer Code box. Please ensure STL is entered as the destination airport. Discounts are available for travel booked between Oct. 6-14, 2018. 

To save, book online here and enter Group Code NMRLY. Please ensure STL is entered as the destination airport. Discounts are available for travel booked between Oct. 6-14, 2018. You may also call Delta Meeting reservations at (800) 328-1111, Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. CT. 


Registration is open to restaurant operators and those who work for restaurant or hospitality companies. If you are a product or service provider, you are welcome to attend the conference as a sponsor. For 2018 conference sponsorships, please contact Stephanie Krasner at skrasner@restaurant.org

2018 Platinum Sponsors

          NSF.jpeg          ServSafe-Logo.jpeg                    

2018 Gold Sponsors

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        FoodLogiQ.jpeg        P-G.jpeg        Sensitech.jpeg






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