CHICAGO — The Institute of Food Technologists has canceled the IFT20 annual meeting and food expo due to the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. The event was scheduled for July 12-15 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

IFT20 will now take place as a “virtual event experience,” said Pam Coleman, president of the IFT.

“Working in an industry responsible for feeding the world, we are being particularly challenged by this pandemic,” Ms. Coleman said in a video statement. “It is in times like these that we must work together for the common good, to ensure our food supply is safe and our supply chain remains uncompromised.”

The virtual event will offer an "engaging, accessible and inclusive platform to convene our global community, enabling us to connect, learn, share knowledge and advance the science of food and food innovation," she added.

“This was believed to be the best and safest course of action after careful consideration of evolving COVID-19 pandemic developments,” she said. “Many factors were considered when making this decision, the most important being the safety of all involved.”

The IFT has offered to issue refunds to exhibitors or roll over booth fees to the 2021 event. Further details will be shared at in the coming weeks.