Major food service convention cancels showcase at Orange County Convention Center

NAFEM Show previously scheduled to take place in late August

(FILE) (Photo courtesy of World Central Kitchen)

ORLANDO, Fla. – A major foodservice showcase has abruptly cancelled its Orlando convention.

The North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers has called off its gathering at the Orange County Convention Center, according to its event website. The NAFEM Show was scheduled in Orlando for Aug. 26 through Aug. 28.

NAFEM is a membership organization that represents more than 600 foodservice equipment and supplies manufacturers. It often hosts events at the venue, bringing in thousands of visitors every year.

“We value our longstanding relationship with NAFEM. We understand the unique circumstances facing The NAFEM Show and look forward to their return to the Orange County Convention Center in 2023,” OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester said in a statement. “We remain committed to the safety of our employees, clients, attendees and exhibitors and continue to adhere to the CDC’s guidelines and our comprehensive health and safety protocols in our Recovery and Resiliency Guidelines.”

NAFEM has an expo scheduled for February 2023 at the Orange County Convention Center, its website says.

Under its COVID-19 plan linked on its website, NAFEM said it is “taking every precaution to ensure a safe and productive experience for our attendees and exhibitors.” News 6 has reached out to the organization for comment.

This marks the second large-scale expo to cancel its scheduled events at the OCCC as Orange County sees a surge in coronavirus cases. AORN canceled its August global surgical conference last week.

On Wednesday, Florida broke another hospitalization record, according to numbers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Tabulating data from the day prior, HHS revealed 12,408 patients were hospitalized in a single day statewide.