Food security expert Professor Chris Elliott issues warning

food security expert Chris Griffith

Professor Chris Elliott, author of the Elliott Review into the 2013 horse meat scandal

Food security expert warns the UK is facing the greatest threat to the integrity of its food supply since World War II.

Professor Chris Elliott, who was appointed by the government to investigate the horsemeat scandal in 2013 that saw up to 50,000 horses disappear from across Europe, has warned that a combination of factors such as Brexit and global warming mean the country’s food supply is potentially less secure than at any point in the last 70 years.

Speaking at a conference of food industry experts this autumn, the professor warned that:

  • the UK is not yet prepared for the many challenges that Brexit will pose to the safe supply and production of food. Compromises on food safety standards is a real and immediate threat
  • lack of action on global warming is leading to the increase in incidences of disease and drought that have already devastated some of the food commodities we have come to rely on
  • increased price pressure on food suppliers continues to increase the risk for food fraud as farmers and producers struggle to meet the lower prices demanded by retailers

The professor, who is the founder of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast, issued the warning at the Food Fraud, Culture and Modern Catering Processes conference in Doncaster on 26 September 2017, hosted by Highfield Qualifications, one of the UK’s leading exam boards.

Professor Elliott said, ‘As a country we need to seriously begin considering how we ‘future proof’ the integrity of our food supply in the face of the challenges coming in the next few years. To understand what we are eating, where it comes from and how it was produced are of fundamental importance to regaining trust. To reconnect with our food system should be considered a national imperative’.

He added, ‘We have made good progress on the issue of food fraud since the publication of the Elliott Review into the Integrity and Assurance of Food Supply Networks in 2014. However, although food fraud remains a priority to those of us concerned with the integrity of our food supply, we need to be versatile and responsive in how we deal with other – potentially greater – challenges to come, especially around Brexit and global warming’.

The Elliott Review into the Integrity and Assurance of Food Supply Networks – Final Report: A National Food Crime Prevention Framework can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/350726/elliot-review-final-report-july2014.pdf   

For further information on Highfield, go to www.highfieldqualifications.com

For regular updates, go to https://twitter.com/askhighfield and www.facebook.com/askhighfield
ENDS

Notes to editors:
1. Highfield Qualifications is one of the UK’s leading awarding organisations, offering over 200 qualifications covering a wide variety of industries including food safety, customer service, health and safety, licensing, security, stewarding, retail, logistics, catering and hospitality.

2. The Food Fraud, Culture and Modern Catering Processes conference took place at Doncaster Racecourse on 26 September 2017, and featured presentations from Professor Chris Elliott (Director of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast), Andy Morling (Head of the National Food Crime Unit, FSA), Sterling Crew (Institute of Food Science and Technology), Simon Flanagan (RSSL) and Peter Littleton (Klenzan).

Don’t miss out on the food safety event of the year!

food safety event of the yearWith less than two months to go until Highfield hosts the food safety event of the year at Doncaster Racecourse, we are pleased to announce that the conference agenda is now live!

Covering key topics across the sector, Food Fraud, Culture & Modern Catering Processes will provide delegates with the knowledge and understanding to improve existing food strategies and procedures within their businesses.

 

 09:00-09:45 Registration and Exhibition Viewing  
 09:45-10:00   Welcome & Chair

Richard Sprenger
Highfield Qualifications

 
 10:00-10:45   Delivering a Food Safety Culture

Sterling Crew

Institute of Food Science and Technology   

 
 10:45-11:15   Break and Exhibition Viewing  
 11:15-12:00   Taking the Risk Out of Allergen Risk Assessments   

Simon Flanagan

RSSL

 
 12:00-12:45   Modern Catering Low-temperature Techniques

Dr Andy Bowles

ABC Food Law   

 
 12:45-13:45 Lunch and Exhibition Viewing  
 13:45-14:30 Challenges to the Integrity of the Global Food Supply System

Professor Chris Elliott

Queens University Belfast      

 
 14:30-15:15   Food Safety Offences & Sentencing (Food Crime Unit Update)

Andy Morling

Food Standards Agency

 
 15:15-16:00   Minimising Accidental Food Fraud

Peter Littleton

Klenzan

 
 16:00   Event Closes  

You’ll also get the chance to:

  • purchase Highfield training materials with an exclusive conference discount
  • view products and services from a host of exhibitors
  • network with colleagues from across the food sector
  • get authoritative guidance and advice from industry professionals

The conference takes place on Tuesday 26 September 2017 at Doncaster Racecourse.Tickets are priced at £170 + VAT for Highfield centres and £210 + VAT for non-centres.

To book a place for yourself and/or a colleague, you can book here. Alternatively, call us on 0845 226 0350/ 01302 363277 or email events@highfieldabc.com.

And one last thing, if you aren’t already a member of our Food Safety Forum on LinkedIn, join today for free to receive updates, news and information from food safety trainers, consultants, practitioners and indsutry professionals, alongside continuous networking opportunties and exclusive promotions.

2018 events calendar now live!

2018 events calendarWe know summer may have only just started, despite the best efforts of the British weather to suggest otherwise.  

And it’s still a massive 152 days until Christmas (sorry).  

But that’s not going to stop us from launching our events calendar for 2018!  

We’re already excited about the line up we’ve put together, with a whole host of events throughout the year covering first aid, fire safety, education and training and food safety.

And we’ve brought together some of the very best subject matter experts in their fields, who will be bringing you all the latest updates, guidance, information and training you need for your organisation. 

Nearly all our events come with CPD points and offer discounts to Highfield Centres, so there’s plenty of reason to get booking now. 

But don’t worry if you’re looking to have your training needs met a little bit sooner – there’s still 21 weeks of the year left (we’re counting) and numerous events between now and the end of the year, so plenty of opportunity to confirm your place.

If you want to take a sneak preview of what we’ve lined up for 2018, then just go to our events section and scroll through the dates. 

Or drop us a line at events@highfield.co.uk  

UK food industry risks another horse meat scandal

Professor Chris Elliott, author of the Elliott Review into the 2013 horse meat scandal.

The UK is still at risk of another ‘horse gate’ scandal which may have been responsible for up to 50,000 horses disappearing from across Europe – that will be the warning from one of the country’s top experts at a major food industry conference later this year.

Professor Chris Elliott will tell delegates at the Food Fraud, Culture and Modern Catering Processes conference on 26 September 2017, at Doncaster Racecourse, that work still needs to be done to ensure food fraud is successfully tackled.

The conference is being organised by Highfield Qualifications, the UK’s leading awarding organisation for food safety qualifications. It was at Highfield’s previous conference in 2015 that Professor Elliott made the shocking revelation that up to 50,000 horses had ‘disappeared’ from Europe during the financial meltdown, which started in 2008.

The professor, who was appointed by the government to investigate the horsemeat scandal and food fraud in the UK, will explain that while progress has been made, food security has to remain a priority for authorities and the police or it will happen again.

Professor Elliott said, ‘A great deal of headway has been made since the publication of the Elliott Review into the Integrity and Assurance of Food Supply Networks. Plus, we’ve seen the establishment of the Food Standard Agency’s Food Crime Unit, which is beginning to have an impact.

However, food fraud must remain a priority – amongst many competing priorities for enforcement authorities – if we are to maintain that progress and ensure we see no recurrence of previous scandals’.

As well as food fraud, the conference – which is being hosted in partnership with The Society of Food Hygiene and Technology (SOFHT) – will focus on key topics across the food sector, providing delegates with knowledge and skills to improve existing food strategies and procedures within their business. Topics covered during the event will include allergens, food safety culture and the safety of low temperature catering processes.

As well as being chaired by Highfield Chairman Richard Sprenger, author of Hygiene for Management and The Food Safety Handbook, the event will feature presentations from:

Tickets for the conference cost £210 plus VAT, with discounts available for Highfield members.

For more information or to book your place, go to https://centres.highfieldabc.com/Events/Default.aspx

Alternatively, call 0845 226 0350 or email events@highfield.co.uk

For regular updates, go to https://twitter.com/askhighfield and www.facebook.com/askhighfield 
ENDS

 

 

Two additional ‘Introducing Highfield’ sessions for Taunton/Belfast

introducing HighfieldWe’ve added two additional briefings to our series of ‘Introducing Highfield‘ events this spring. 

Due to popular demand, we’ll now be holding a briefing on the afternoon of 13 April 2017 in Taunton, and on the afternoon of 25 April 2017 in Belfast. Morning sessions are now fully booked. 

From this April, the CIEH will no longer be offering regulated qualifications and will be withdrawing its status as an awarding organisation. As a result, Highfield has been holding briefings for those centres that want to continue delivering regulated qualifications and are exploring ways of doing this. 

Each briefing lasts two hours and will provide further information on the benefits of being an approved Highfield centre, our policies and values, as well as guidance on our registration process. 

What you can expect on the day: 

  • details on how to switch from CIEH to Highfield, plus our support during that process and afterwards
  • overview of the qualifications we offer, and are planning to offer 
  • information on our FREE centre registration for CIEH customers 
  • guidance on moving qualifications over to the Register of Qualifications Framework (RQF)
  • examples of associated training materials from Highfield International 
  • the opportunity to network with training providers 

And of course, you’ll get the chance to meet the Highfield team and some of our subject matter experts face-to-face, ask questions and give us your views on what you want to see from a responsive awarding organisation in terms of service, qualifications and products. 

To book yourself and/or your colleagues on to this event, please visit here.

Alternatively, you can secure your place by calling us on 0845 226 0350/01302 363277 or by emailing events@highfieldabc.com . Spaces will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

For the latest news, updates and events follow Highfield on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram

We hope that you can join us for what is sure to be an extremely informative event.

Highfield chairman to speak at Dubai food safety event

Dubai food safetyHighfield Chairman Richard Sprenger will be speaking at an event this March to promote food safety. 

The Effective Cleaning for Food Safety seminar, held on 20 March 2017 at The Convention Centre, Roda Al Bustan Hotel, Dubai, has been arranged by Pulseberry in conjunction with MidChem, Ecoleaf and Highfield, and with support from Dubai Municipality Food Control Department. 

The event is CPD endorsed, meaning delegates will be awarded 6 CPD points by Highfield. The flyer can be downloaded:

Dubai event March 2017  

Anyone interested in attending the event should email Operations@Pillsburyconsulting.com

Join us at Food Safety: Guide to Compliance and Best Practice in the Catering Industry

Next month Highfield will be hosting a specialised compliance and best practice food safety event to support the launch of the British Hospitality Association’s revised publication of the Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice: Catering.

This event will focus on key updates contained within the guide, provide knowledge and understanding of current issues and trends within the sector, and also feature presentations from food safety experts including Euan MacAuslan.

Euan MacAuslan

Euan speaking at our National Conference 2014

Euan began his environmental health career in the army in 1978. On his departure he built on his existing knowledge and expertise with a breadth of consultancy work until he joined The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Since 1992, he has been managing the council’s public health training services, and is also a level 4 food safety examiner with qualified teacher learning and skills status. Euan has been a key contributor to Highfield for over 14 years, and has assisted in the development of publications, qualifications and training. He has also spoken about best practice food safety at several industry events throughout his career.

We are pleased to welcome Euan back to speak at our conference, where he will be delivering a presentation focused on the major updates contained within the industry guide. Further information regarding the food safety event is available here.

To book yourself and/or your colleagues on to this event, please visit here. Alternatively, you can secure your place by calling our Sales team on 01302 363277/0845 226 0350 or by emailing the Events team at events@highfieldabc.com.

Highfield Chairman at Dubai hospitality conference

Highfield Chairman Richard Sprenger was one of the main speakers at this year’s Vision Conference, held as part of The Hotel Show 2015 at Dubai World Trade Centre.

The conference, which took place from 17 to 19 September 2015 – and is now in its third year – offers the latest insights, trends and market intelligence across the hospitality sector.  Richard spoke to a packed audience of experts and industry leaders on the importance of improving food safety in hotels, and how it can impact on compliance and reputation.

Richard said, ‘The Vision Conference was a great opportunity to talk to the hospitality sector about the importance of food safety, and how it can impact on everything else you do.  Getting food safety wrong can completely ruin a customer’s experience of your business and risk you falling foul of the authorities.  What’s more, damage to reputation through an entirely preventable incident can be incredibly hard to put right’.

For more on the conference, go to www.thehotelshow.com/Content/Vision-Conference

‘Embrace food safety culture to tackle foodborne illness’ warns top expert

embrace food safety cultureOne of the UK’s top food safety experts will warn a conference this autumn that businesses must embrace a positive food safety culture if they are to tackle the UK’s estimated half a million cases of foodborne illness each year.

Professor Chris Griffith, who is editor of the British Food Journal and one the world’s leading consultants on food safety, will tell delegates at the HABC National Conference on 13 November 2014 at Old Trafford Stadium that businesses have both a moral and financial imperative to produce safe food, but that this cannot be achieved without a positive food safety culture.

Since the Pennington report into the South Wales E. coli outbreak, food safety culture has jumped to prominence as the industry recognises that safety management systems in themselves do not necessarily lead to the production of safe food.

Speaking at the conference, Professor Griffith will explain how a management system must be accompanied by a positive food safety culture if it is to ensure food handlers follow correct practice. He will also explain how every business has a food safety culture, and that it is the function of owners and managers to ensure that this is positive towards food safety.

Other areas covered in his presentation will include the concepts and definitions of food safety culture and its increasing relevance to auditors and inspectors, an introduction to the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) approach to assessing food safety culture, and comparisons to other different approaches. There will also be an explanation of how businesses can construct a food safety culture improvement action plan.

Professor Griffith, who has recently authored a book on the subject – Developing and Maintaining a Positive Food Safety Culture – said, ‘For too long, food safety has been treated simply as a microbiological problem. However, there is now a growing recognition that there is a major human behavioural component.

When known food-safety practices are not followed it is all too all too easy to blame the individual food handler, yet the real underlying causes are often management failures. I know many managers who claim to be supportive of food safety and how it is their number one priority, but when I dig deep into the organisation’s culture I discover this is usually not the case.

Producing a positive food safety culture is easy to say but much more difficult for most businesses to prove. I hope by attending the conference and implementing the measures described, managers will be much better able to do this’.

RS at LITD Food Safety Bahrain Event 1Richard Sprenger, HABC Chairman and international food safety expert, said, ‘With the recent food safety stories in the media, it is becoming increasingly recognised that food safety culture is one of the most important factors in preventing foodborne illnesses, and it is something that inspectors, auditors and bodies such as the Food Standards Agency (FSA) are focussing on.

Professor Griffith is one of the leading experts in the world, and his presentation will be of huge interest to anyone in the food industry whether they are from a catering, manufacturing or retail background’.

As well as Professor Griffith, the food safety seminar at the HABC National Conference will also feature presentations from:

ENDS
Notes to editors:
1. Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (‘HABC’) is one of the UK’s leading Awarding Organisations for vocational qualifications.
2. The food safety seminar is one of seven that make up the HABC National Conference covering a number of sectors including apprenticeships, fire safety/health and safety, first aid, licensing, pool lifeguarding and security.
3. Cost per attendee is £135+VAT for HABC Approved Centres and £195+VAT for non-Centres, with discounts available for early and multiple bookings.
4. Developing and Maintaining a Positive Food Safety Culture by Professor Chris Griffith is available from Highfield.co.uk. For more information, see the website.

New book and qualification to promote food safety culture

promote food safety cultureA new book by one of the UK’s leading food safety experts has been launched to help businesses develop a positive food safety culture.

Developing and Maintaining a Positive Food Safety Culture by Professor Chris Griffith, editor of the British Food Journal and one the world’s leading consultants on food safety, covers key topics such as understanding the concept of food safety culture, its components, promoting a food safety culture within an organisation and related food safety management areas such as leadership, communication and training.

The book compliments the teaching of a new qualification covering the subject – the HABC Level 3 Award in Developing a Positive Food Safety Culture – by respected food safety expert Jude Hutchinson.

Both the book and the qualification – which can be completed in just one day – are aimed specifically at supervisors and owners/managers of food businesses and will allow them to improve the awareness of employees throughout their organisations.

The qualification has been developed by Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (‘HABC’), which is the UK’s largest provider of compliance qualifications, whilst Developing and Maintaining a Positive Food Safety Culture is published by Highfied.co.uk.

Professor Chris GriffithProfessor Griffith, who will be speaking on the subject at the HABC National Conference in Manchester in November, said, ‘For too long, food safety has just been treated as a microbiological problem, but there is now a growing recognition that there is also a major human behavioural component. When known food safety practices are not followed it is all too easy to blame the individual food handler, yet the real underlying causes are often management failures. I know many managers who claim to be supportive of food safety and it is their number one priority, but when I dig deep into the organisation’s culture I discover this is usually NOT the case. Producing a positive food safety culture is easy to say but much more difficult for most businesses to prove’.

Chris Sprenger, Highfield Managing Director, said, ‘With the issue of food safety culture recently dominating the news – particularly regards campylobacter in raw chicken – there is increasing public, media and government scrutiny of the entire food sector. The new book and the qualification will help demonstrate the importance of developing and maintain a positive food safety culture and promote the fact that every staff member is important in achieving this’.

Developing and Maintaining a Positive Food Safety Culture costs just £13.50, with discounts available for larger orders. The qualification costs £14 to £18 per learner depending on the number registered.

A training presentation, which can be delivered via PowerPoint, is also under development.