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 www.thehygienedoctor.co.uk, 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 highfieldconference.com

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 highfieldconference.com

 

 

 

 

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 highfieldconference.com.

 

 

Highfield Food Safety Conference back for 2020

The Highfield food safety conference is back for 2020 with ‘Building Trust in Food Supply Chains’ on 9 June at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, Birmingham.

2019 saw over 200 food safety professionals flock to Highfield’s conference in Birmingham to see some of the UK’s top food safety experts deliver their verdict on the future of food safety as the industry came to terms with the uncertainty of Brexit. 

‘A top-tier program of industry thought leaders; current and topical, accessible and value for money.’ 2019 conference attendee

‘I would highly recommend that anyone with an interest in food safety attends future events.’
2019 conference attendee

Our food safety conference 2020 supporters include the addition of the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) along with returning supporters the Society of Food Hygiene and Technology (SOFHT), the Institute of Food Science Technology (IFST) and RHE Global.

‘Building Trust in Food Supply Chains’ is aimed at professionals working in food retail, food manufacturing and foodservice, as well as food safety tutors and environmental health officers. At the top of the agenda, the conference will shine a spotlight on emerging threats to food authenticity and how those in the industry can strengthen their food defence planning. Following this will be an exploration of how innovative blockchain technology can be used to build trust in food safety, along with an overview of the latest updates to food business regulation from the Food Standards Agency. The second half of the agenda will see us explore a topic at the forefront of many minds within the food industry, allergen management. We ask the question, ‘what impact will ‘Natasha’s law’ have on your business?’.

Chaired by Richard Sprenger, Chairman of Highfield Qualifications, the conference will feature expert Q&A panels alongside presentations from:

For more information on the speakers and topics to be discussed or to book your early-bird ticket for ‘Building Trust in Food Supply Chains’ now, go to highfieldconference.com.

Food safety in a changing world

This June saw Highfield host its most successful food conference to date, Food Safety in a Changing World.

Hosted by Highfield chairman Richard Sprenger, the conference took place at the National Motorcycle Museum on 13 June 2019 in partnership with The Society of Food Hygiene and Technology, the Institute of Food Science and Technology, and RHE Global.

And over 200 delegates attended to hear from the top names in the food safety business about the key challenges, legislative changes, media issues and the impact of Brexit on the sector.

Speaking at the event were:

We’ve had some amazing feedback from those who attended, and would like to thank each and every person who came along the conference.

For future Highfield events, please go to https://centres.highfieldqualifications.com/Events/

Food safety students of the year announced

Highfield Top Student Award 2019Thank you everyone for a fantastic day yesterday at our food safety conference!

It was great to see so many of you there, and we’ll have more updates from the event next week.

But in the meantime, we wanted to announce the winners of our first-ever Top Student Awards 2019, which also took place at the conference yesterday.

And we’re excited that, in the inaugural year of the awards, the standard was so high that for one category we had TWO winners!

The Top Student Awards celebrate the highest achieving learners in two of our most prestigious qualifications, the Highfield Level 4 Award in Managing Food Safety and the Highfield Level 4 Award in HACCP for Management.

The winners were:

Winner of the UK Top Student Award 2019 (Highfield Level 4 Award in Managing Food Safety)

Winner of the UK Top Student Award 2019 (Highfield Level 4 Award in HACCP for Management)

Each top student (by marks achieved in each qualification) received a cheque for £250 and an awards certificate to recognise their remarkable achievement.

And because we value the invaluable role our centres play in developing top-class students and future food sector professionals, the accompanying training providers also received a specially designed Highfield celebratory plaque to display in their premises.

The awards were presented by Highfield Chairman Richard Sprenger on stage at the conference.

We hope you’ll join Highfield in congratulating the winners on their outstanding efforts!

Check out our food safety conference video – and don’t miss out on the early bird discount!

Our ‘Improving Food Safety in a Changing World’ this June is the must attend event for anyone in the food or catering business. And there’s still time to take advantage of our early bird discount!

But if you’re still not convinced, take a look at our video.

Or to book your tickets, go to http://foodsafety2019.highfield.co.uk/ 

* This presentation contains images that were used under a Creative Commons License. Click here to see the full list of images and attributions: https://lnkd.in/diNkbET

Food Inspection: Are the professionals ready?

Effective food inspection is inextricably linked to an inspector’s understanding of the core hazards associated with individual foods. Although spoilage can usually be determined through a simple organoleptic assessment, the judgment of whether a food is fit for human consumption requires a deeper evaluation of the health hazards.

Madeleine Smith, reader in food safety at University of Birmingham, says “The spectacular development of the food industry in the past 40 years has provided new challenges and opportunities in the area of food inspection. It is important that the training of inspectors reflects these developments.”

In 1993, Madeleine qualified as an environmental health officer before working for Birmingham City Council. She joined the University of Birmingham in 1997 to provide the professional practice element to the MSc in Environmental Health. Since then Madeleine has designed and developed a number of postgraduate, undergraduate and CPD courses in food safety, building the Food Safety Group up to its current level. In addition to award-bearing courses, the group offers specialist short courses to competent authorities in the UK and overseas as well as to the food industry.

We are delighted to announce that Madeleine will be speaking at Highfield’s Improving Food Safety in a Changing World conference on 13 June at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. In her presentation Are the professionals ready? Current competency and future needs, she will discuss the implications of food inspection evaluations and the necessity for inspectors to understand risk points attributable to complex food supply chains.

Other topics to be discussed at the food safety conference include key challenges and legislative changes as well as media issues and the implications of Brexit, as the food industry comes to terms with ever-greater scrutiny and reputational risk.

Find the full line-up of industry-leading speakers on our website foodsafety2019.highfield.co.uk. Take advantage of the early bird offer and save £55 on the price of your ticket! Early bird offer ends 31 March so don’t delay! Book your ticket here.

Food safety: Food Hygiene Rating Scheme – the drive for transparency

Continuing our series of blogs focusing on the line-up of top industry speakers presenting at the Improving Food Safety in a Changing World conference on 13 June in Birmingham, we spoke to John Barnes, Director at Enmoore Ltd, to find out what topics he’ll be discussing at the food safety conference.

In addition to his role as a Director at Enmoore Ltd, John is also a Strategic Advisor to the Shield Safety Group and a visiting lecturer in food safety at the University of Birmingham. Until 2015 John was Head of Local Delivery at the Food Standards Agency (FSA), and in that same year, was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of The Society of Food Hygiene Technology (SOFHT) for his exceptional contribution to food hygiene and safety.

An environmental health officer by profession, John has extensive experience negotiating and implementing EU food law and chairing international meetings on food safety controls. He was part of the senior FSA team leading the response to the 2013 horsemeat incident and responsible for establishing its Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS).

In his presentation Food Hygiene Rating Scheme – the drive for transparency – current issues, what next? John will discuss how the FSA have pushed for greater openness and transparency since its launch in 2000, seeing this as an effective way to drive behaviour change in the food industry. The FHRS has resulted in a significant improvement in the UK hygiene standard, with calls for a mandatory display in England similar to the arrangements in Wales and NI.

“FHRS has undoubtedly had a major impact on food businesses and significantly improved hygiene standards. Industry can expect continued pressure to improve transparency and information to both consumers and regulators. The presentation will cover the background to this: current FHRS safeguards for businesses, issues with delaying implementation of mandatory display of FHRS in England and what to expect in the near future.” John Barnes.

Find the full line-up of speakers and topics to be discussed at the conference on our website foodsafety2019.highfield.co.uk. Take advantage of our early bird offer and save £55 on the price of your ticket! Early bird offer ends 31 March. Book your ticket here.

Food safety: Regulating our future – key changes for the industry and regulators

This June will see Highfield’s Improving Food Safety in a Changing World conference take place at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. 

And as part of the build up to what promises to be the biggest and best food safety conference in the UK in 2019, we’re profiling our line up of top speakers and looking at what issues and topics they will be discussing.

Michael Jackson is the Head of Regulatory Compliance at the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and has been working full time on the FSA’s Regulating Our Future programme since it was set up in February 2016.  He leads the teams developing the new delivery model for food law regulation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Prior to moving to this programme, Michael was Head of Local Authority Policy and Delivery within the FSA’s Northern Ireland office, where he was responsible for developing a wide range of legislation and policy in relation to food safety and food standards. He has been involved with the development and operation of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme since 2009 and led the project to make the display of ratings at food establishments a statutory requirement in Northern Ireland.

At the conference, Michael will be presenting an update on the progress that the FSA has made to transform the way the food industry is regulated in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, highlighting those developments that are currently being rolled out into the regulatory model that will impact both local authorities and the food industry, and the key priorities for further work in 2019 and 2020.

Michael said, ‘The FSA is committed to transforming the way that the food industry is regulated and our aim is to develop a new model that is modern, risk-based, proportionate, robust and resilient. Throughout the project, we had adopted an open policy, testing our plans publicly with key stakeholders and this even presents an excellent opportunity to discuss progress and next steps’.

The Improving Food Safety in a Changing World conference takes place on 13 June 2019. For more information on the conference or to book your place, go to http://foodsafety2019.highfield.co.uk/