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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Recycling Integrity Introduced @ NRA Quality Assurance Meeting

Addressing the integrity of the recycling stream is entering the mainstream.  In early October, the National Restaurant Association hosted their annual Quality Assurance Executive Study Group meeting in Atlanta.  A Recycling Integrity presentation by Zero Waste Zones Director Holly Elmore was intertwined into the October 04 Food Borne Illness session topic.

It was amazing to field questions from national chain and foodservice operator Quality Assurance executives and witness their understanding of how zero waste initiatives and food safety concerns are related.  Education is in order on the safety measures inherent within state-permitted composting sites to kill pathogens and any other food borne illness carriers.  Working with the U.S. Composting Council, Elemental Impact intends to communicate the bottom-line safety foundation, relating to food, leachate and air quality, inherent within the composting industry standards, permitting processes and operating practices.

HMSHost Tampa Airport
Conessions operations has an
excellent, safe food donation program
Another educational opportunity is the donation of  unsellable yet edible food from chain and quick service restaurant operations.  Many of the QA executives expressed legal concern over food donations and were not comfortable with the legal protection provided by the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.  Working with the NRA and the Food Donation Connection, Ei intends to embark on a campaign to identity food treated as waste that has valuable nutrition for the underserved population.  Legal concerns and logistical challenges must both be addressed to keep edible food from the composting pile or the landfill.

Holly's Recycling Integrity PPT presentation may be downloaded on the ZWZ Speaking Engagements page.
The UGA Center for Food Saftey Team

The University of Georgia Center for Food Safety Team gave an impressive "Afternoon of Science Workshop" including seven 30 minute presentations.  The topics included:

  • The E.coli Outbreak that Rocked Germany (and the Eu)
  • Control of Foodborne Pathogens on Tomatoes
  • Control of Norovirus During Food Handling
  • Recent Trends on Norovirus Control Strategies
  • Interventions to Control Salmonella on Poultry Farms
  • Dry Foods:  Suddenly a Vehicle for Foodborne Disease
  • Foodborne Parasites in Fresh Produce
After the intense presentations Scott Seydel, Ei Advisory Council Chair & Global Green Chair, and Holly joked they never knew handshaking and eating raspberries could present such microbial dangers.  It was an eyeopening afternoon.

Scott Seydel @ afternoon session
The day ended with a fun, relaxed evening at the GA Aquarium, complete with a private tour of the exhibits.  Kudos to Catherine Adams and her team for creating a stellar meeting series.   Thank you for the foresight to understand the role Recycling Integrity plays in the food safety component of restaurant operations.

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