Washington Association for Food Protection, (WAFFP) continues to grow and evolve thanks to the countless number of volunteers.  As we approach our 75th anniversary, we thought sharing some of the International Associations beginnings and eventually ours would be helpful to see how far food safety has come. our roots were important to see how far we have come. The following piece was submitted by Mr. Bill Brewer – longtime WAFFP member and dear friend.

The Washington Association for Food Protection is an affiliate of the International Association for Food Protection whose objective is the Advancement of Food Safety Worldwide. To better understand the organizations history, I have composed this brief history of the International Association for Food Protection and Washington Association for Food Protection

In 1911, a group gathered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as they had mutual interest to improve sanitary processing and distribution of milk products throughout the United States. They reviewed sanitary conditions within the dairy industry and recommended various practices to improve the supply chain worldwide. Quality on the farm, processing facilities, distribution hubs and consumer handling were headed towards change. This group was dedicated tom implement change for clean milk in order to reduce disease.

Many cities and states passed regulations requiring sanitary practices, resulting in a decline of food borne illness. One challenge was the limited number of trained milk inspectors. It was the goal of this U.S. based group including delegates from Canada and Australia to provide the knowledge, science, training and uniform regulations nationwide. This led to the formation of The International Association of Dairy and Milk Inspectors.

The first United States “Pure Food and Drug Law” had just been passed and the need for such an organization was pivotal to assist industry in training to comply with such laws. The first annual convention was held in 1912.

In the 1930’s, state affiliates of the international organization were established and in 1937 the Journal of Milk Technology became the official publication. This journal was instrumental in providing the latest scienced based dairy technology. In 1938 the associations name was changed to International Association of Milk Sanitarians.

By 1941, membership had grown to 1,146 members and included 43 states as well as several foreign countries. In 1946 there was interest to include food and restaurant sanitarians into the association resulting in yet another name change to “International Association of Milk and Food Sanitarians” (IAMFS). The official publication was also changed to the “Journal of Milk and Food Technology.”

By 1952 membership of the association exceeded 3,500 members from each state and 56 countries. Due to increased membership of environmental sanitarians promoting food safety as well as IAMFS, the official name of the organization changed to “International Association of Milk, Food and Environmental Sanitarians.”

In 1977 the Journal of Milk Technology was changed to the “Journal of Food Protection” with an increased number of scientific articles added to the publication.

In 1980 the “Food and Fieldmen” magazine was published with a focus on fieldmen and sanitarians. Membership shifted and was comprised to include industry, government and academia. In 1987 an audiovisual lending library was established.

In 1993 professional development groups, (PDG’s) were formed to enhance future annual meetings. Meat, seafood and poultry were among the first “PDG’s established.  The board of directors approved the associations mission statement to read the following. “To provide food safety professionals worldwide with a forum to exchange information on protecting the food supply.”

In 1995, Professor Ann Draughon from the University of Tennessee became the first woman to become president of the association.

In 1996 our (WA Milk and Food Sanitarians Association) affiliate hosted the International Association of Milk, Food and Environmental Sanitarians annual meeting held in Seattle. This was the third time our affiliate hosted the annual meeting.

In 1999 the membership approved the associations name change to “International Association for Food Protection.”

The International Association for Food Protection has evolved into an internationally recognized food technology association. As technology has advanced for more than a century, we continue to provide and meet expectations of our valued members. The association continues to foster its mission, “To provide food safety professionals worldwide with a forum to exchange information on protecting the food supply.” The Washington Association for Food Protection is a proud affiliate of IAFP and assists in promoting this mission throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Mr. Bill Brewer