News & Events

WEBINAR: SARS COV-2, COVID-19 and the Food Industry: Myths, Misinformation, Communicating Science and Lessons Learned

25 Jan 2022
Free Webinar - 15 February 2021

Moderator: Dr A.J. Troy/ Vicky Snook

Speakers: Dr. Alan Kelly, Professor, School of Food and Nutritional SciencesUniversity College Cork, Ireland

Dr. Purnendu C. Vasavada, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, USA

Date: 15th of February

Time: 14:00 - 15:00 GMT

Register for this free webinar here


As the food industry and the world at large continues to battle the coronavirus and the Covid-19 pandemic, it is also facing a rapid spread of myths, misinformation and conspiracies, especially through social media.  This online spread of myths, misinformation and disinformation about the pandemic, often dubbed “infodemic” is leading cause of confusion, distrust in science, downplaying the severity of disease and spreading bad information and rumors, and unsound health advice and unproved  “cures”, some with fatal consequences. In this webinar we will explore some common myths and misconceptions regarding SARS COV-2 and Covid-19, explore the role of science and scientists in communicating reliable, credible information to public and provide advice on identifying credible sources of information.  Finally, lessons learned for the food sector from the pandemic will be considered.


·         Covid-19 Infodemic : myths, misconceptions and misinformation

·         Debunking  selected myths 

·         Why debunk myths and clear misconceptions

·         Role of Scientists and communicating science to public

·         Identifying credible sources of information

·         Lessons learned


Dr. Purnendu Vasavada is a Professor Emeritus of Food Science, University of Wisconsin- River Falls and Principal and managing member of the PCV & Associates, LLC. He is recognized internationally for his teaching, applied research, innovative training programs and active consultations in Food Science and Technology, especially, Food Safety and Microbiology and Rapid methods and Automation in Food Microbiology. Since his retirement from the University of Wisconsin- River Falls, Dr. Vasavada accepted a 2 year assignment as the FDA-ORISE Fellow and is involved in the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) – a broad-based public-private alliance consisting of key industry, academia and government stakeholders designed to help food industry comply with the Preventive Controls regulations for implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Dr. Vasavada provides customized educational seminars, workshops and presentations on Food Safety Trends and Issues, Food Microbiology, Emerging Pathogens, HACCP and Prerequisite programs, Environmental Monitoring, Rapid Methods in Food Microbiology, Milk and Dairy Products Quality and Safety, and other contemporary food industry topics for a wide variety of audiences. He also provides consulting and assistance to the food industry in planning, development and management of special projects involving food safety and microbiology and food quality assurance. He is the author or co-author of over 100 publications including peer reviewed papers technical abstracts and book chapters. He is active in several scientific and professional organizations, including the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP), the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the Wisconsin Laboratory Association (WLA), and the Midwest Food Processors Association (MWFPA). He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (1990), the IFT (2009) and the IAFP (2010) and has received the Educator award (IAMFES 1997), UW Extension’s Program Innovation Award (2010), the Harry Haverland Citation Award (IAFP 2011), the GMAFood Safety award (IAFP, 2012), and Honorary Achievement award (FDA-CFSAN, 2012). Dr.Vasavada is serving on scientific advisory committee of various industry organizations, editorial boards of scientific journals and a Food Industry Co-Editor for the Food Quality and Safety magazine, a Wiley publication. He is a frequent contributor to food industry conferences and educational programs, workshops and webinars on various topics of interest to food industry professionals, university and extension audiences.


Dr. Alan KellyProfessor Alan Kelly is a Professor in the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences at University College Cork.  His teaching responsibilities include food processing and preservation, dairy product technology and new food product development.  His research concerns the chemistry and processing of milk and dairy products and he has published over 300 research papers, review articles and book chapters, and supervised or co-supervised over 20 PhD students to completion.  He has been an Editor of the International Dairy Journal since 2005 and in July 2009 received the Danisco International Dairy Science award from the American Dairy Science Association for his contributions to research in dairy science and technology.  He collaborates extensively with colleagues in UCC, nationally and internationally, and works closely with many food companies on projects and training initiatives.  He is also the author of several books, including Molecules, Microbes and Meals (Oxford University Press, 2019) and How Scientists Communicate (Oxford University Press, 2020).  He has also held several positions of university leadership throughout his career, and is currently Vice-Dean for External Engagement and Vice-Head of the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science.

Food Industry Training Unit

University College Cork , Western Road, Cork