Allergen management – are you sure you’ve got it right?

It’s a topic on the lips of everyone in the food industry – allergen management.

Dr Lisa Ackerley, otherwise known as the ‘Hygiene Doctor’, will deliver her presentation ‘Allergen management – are you sure you’ve got it right?’ at the Highfield Conference on 9 June at The National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. 

‘I am delighted to be presenting at this prestigious conference on a topic about which I feel so passionate. Allergen management is within every businesses’ grasp and I will show how to tackle the challenges, avoid the pitfalls and will demonstrate that creating a safe environment for allergic guests can be simple, practical and achievable.’ – Dr Lisa Ackerley.

Dr Lisa Ackerley has been a Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner for over 30 years and her work has taken her on some very interesting journeys. Ever since studying towards her PhD, Lisa has been passionate about making a difference to public health by ensuring hygiene issues are easy to understand – whether you are a consumer or a food business operator. 

As the ‘Hygiene Doctor’ she provides advice to consumers on home hygiene via her blog, with more focus on helping food businesses through channels of the Public Health Company, as well as the Kitchen Conversation LinkedIn group, RIAMS Communities platform and YouTube channel where she and fellow Chartered EHP, Sterling Crew discuss food safety issues and engage with the wider food professional community.

Dr Lisa Ackerley is a strategic adviser in the commercial food safety arena, working as an expert witness in food law cases and carrying out forensic audits on food safety and allergen management for major food businesses. She is regularly called upon to comment on public health issues in the media and has appeared on prime-time consumer shows such as Watchdog, Rogue Restaurants and Holiday Hit Squad in addition to many radio shows and TV news programmes. She is Visiting Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Salford and Professorial Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health. Dr Lisa is a trustee and deputy chair of the IFH which is a great source of scientific information on home hygiene, and a food safety adviser to UKHospitality and is a trustee and chair of the Food SIG at the RSPH.

Using her experience from forensic auditing and benchmarking, Lisa will explore the challenges for allergen management faced by hospitality businesses and discusses best practices and simple, practical steps that can be taken to ensure customer safety.  She will also share some allergen ‘Room 101’ howlers to avoid with conference attendees.

 To see the full agenda of speakers and topics to be discussed, or to book your early-bird ticket before 31 March, go to

How to challenge and strengthen your food defence plan









How to challenge and strengthen your food defence plan

Consumers are becoming more and more discerning when it comes to the food and drink products they buy and the expectations they have of the companies that produce them. 2019 saw a surge in trends towards health and wellness, plant-based and clean label products. These trends are expected to amplify even further in 2020, with consumers putting the health of our planet in equal importance with their own health.

Manufacturers, suppliers and retailers in the food and drink industry must continually strive for competitive advantage. As a result, the margins that separate the available offerings become increasingly slender, driving an inexhaustible search for value through an agenda of global sourcing of materials, services and products. As we expand our networks with global sourcing strategies, so the global supply chain becomes ever more vulnerable, with risks shifting into new threats as well as new geographies.

A freedom of information request by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) revealed that 1,193 reports were made to the FSA’s National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) in 2018. A further 364 reports were made in the first three months of 2019 alone. Shockingly, 310 of those reported were categorised as products ‘not suitable for human consumption’ that were knowingly sold; more than 4 times the number of cases reported in the previous year.

‘Food fraud, questionable authenticity, adulteration for ideological gain and global pandemics are all now to be considered in the defence of our revenue stream and our consumer responsibility.’ – Denis Treacy

In his presentation ‘How to challenge and strengthen your food defence plan’, Denis Treacy will share his experiences of managing the safety of supply chains and their workers with attendees of the Highfield Conference on Tuesday 9 June. The ‘Building Trust in Food Supply Chains’ conference will take place at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, Birmingham, and is expected to attract over 200 food and drink industry professionals from around the world.               

Denis is well known throughout the industry as an engaging, driven and decisive executive leader with 40 years of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry experience; the first 10 years being in scientific roles, the last 30 at management, leadership, executive chief officer and president levels.

Now, Denis heads Culture Compass Ltd, which serves to help businesses change performance by understanding the links between policies, organisation and performance through the critical element of culture and behaviour. He believes that reducing defects, incidents, accidents and improving the quality, safety and integrity of products and working environments can be achieved and sustained with a positive focus.

Denis is known in the food and drink industry for his attitude of sharing best practice, working with customers, regulators and competitors alike to better the industry. Utilising expertise that has been developed over a long career, he is now helping other businesses to deliver transformational performance improvements themselves, in areas of safety and quality strategy, business culture, change management and organisational transformation.

Using his rich knowledge, experience and his unique and entertaining character to illustrate the messages, Denis is sure to keep the agenda energised and the day memorable.

To see the full agenda of speakers and topics to be discussed, or to book your early-bird ticket before 31 March, go to





Emerging threats to food authenticity

Sterling Crew, Chair of The Food Authenticity Network Advisory Board, is set to speak at Highfield’s ‘Building Trust in Food Supply Chains’ conference on the critical topic of emerging risks and threats to food authenticity.

The conference will take place on 9 June at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, Birmingham and is expected to attract over 200 food safety professionals from around the globe.

Sterling is well known in the industry, with 35 years’ experience in national and international food safety, authenticity governance, sustainability and regulation. He started his career in government before a successful track history in retailing with Marks and Spencer and Tesco. Sterling’s experience as a regulator, retailer, brand owner and food manufacturer has given him a unique perspective of the authenticity challenges in the global food supply network.

‘The prevention of food fraud is paramount to ensure we protect the trust of our consumers and to maintain fair, sustainable business practices’ – Sterling Crew.

The purpose of his presentation at the Highfield conference will be to guide food operators through approaches and processes that can be adopted by supply chains to improve their resilience against food fraud.

Food fraud costs the global food industry an estimated US$40 billion a year, not to mention the immeasurable loss of consumer confidence when incidents are brought to light.

Food fraud can harm consumers, causing illness and even death. This was the case in 2008 when melamine was used as a nitrogen source to fraudulently increase the measured protein content of milk.  After consuming the contaminated infant formula, more than 50,000 babies were hospitalised and 6 deaths were recorded.

Food fraud is an age-old problem that reoccurs in global food supply chains. Since the 2013 global issue of the fraudulent replacement of horsemeat in beef products, there is a worldwide consensus that as well as being better at detecting food fraud, more needs to be done to prevent food fraud from happening in the first place.

During his presentation, Sterling will look at the common factors in a number of recent cases, how these factors could have been mitigated and how to assure the authenticity of food by minimising vulnerability to fraud. He will address specific mitigation strategies and examine selected risk mitigation measures aimed at preventing food fraud in supply chains.

Sterling will also cover the role played by the Food Authenticity Network in bringing together global information on food authenticity testing, food fraud mitigation and food supply chain integrity, all in one convenient location.

For more information on other speakers at the Highfield conference and on topics to be discussed, or to book your early-bird ticket,  go to