The State of Science on Traditional and Emerging Food Safety Treatment Methods Symposium

Spice companies must have validated controls to address the risk of Salmonella. Traditionally, the spice industry has relied on fumigation, irradiation, and steam treatment. New U.S. regulatory and legal developments threaten the viability of critical methods such as ethylene oxide, while capacity remains a challenge for irradiation. What is the current state of play, and how should spice companies react? Are emerging treatment methods available? Join the Symposium to hear updates on the latest science, regulations, and commercial considerations from FDA, academic, industry, and legal experts.

Symposium Sponsored By:


The Agenda includes a word from our sponsors throughout the program: Learn about the services and expertise of the ASTA members sponsoring this event, including companies offering novel food safety treatment methods.

Welcome and Opening Remarks | 10:30 am
Ramesh Manoharan, ASTA Science & Regulatory Committee Chair

State of Play on Traditional Spice Treatments Methods
Learn about the latest regulatory and commercial developments impacting traditional spice treatment technologies.

  • Hear the latest updates concerning ethylene oxide regulatory and legal developments from Elizabeth Och of Hogan Lovells.
  • Get an overview from David Howe of Cosmed Group on the current and potential expanded use of propylene oxide treatment of spices.
  • Steve Markus of Sterigenics will provide a robust update on irradiation, including recent publications, trends, and capacity challenges.
  • Explore the pros and cons of steam sterilization with Will Conway of McCormick & Company.

These presentations will be followed by a Question & Answer session.

Lunch | Noon – 1:00 pm

Update on the Science of Food Safety Treatment Methods to Control Salmonella in Spices

  • Discover a clearer understanding of FDA’s perspective on the best approaches for treating spices to increase safety while maintaining quality standards, presented by Dr. Elizabeth Grasso-Kelley of FDA.
  • Expert Dr. Linda Harris of University of California-Davis will share learnings on developing industry evidence to support validation of process controls
  • Learn about the state of science on emerging strategies to implement preventive controls and improve the safety of spices from Dr. Jennifer Acuff of University of Arkansas.
  • ASTA Microbiology Task Force Chair Dr. Doug Marshall of Eurofins will present an overview of the Committee’s white paper on emerging and alternative treatment methods.

These presentations will be followed by a Question & Answer session.

Break | 2:30- 3:00 pm  

Discussion on the Regulatory Framework for Validation and Ready-to-Eat Foods
Get an update on FDA’s definition and guidance on determining if ingredients are “ready-to-eat,” a refresher on the legal requirements for process preventive control validation, and hear the latest on FDA’s enforcement on these issues from Maile Gradison of Hogan Lovells & ASTA General Counsel. Next, the session will move into a moderated panel discussion on industry perspectives on these topics.


Key Takeaways and Wrap-Up | Laura Shumow, ASTA

Adjourn | 4:00 pm

Thank You, ASTA 2023 Annual Meeting & Exhibits Sponsors!

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