MEET THE SPEAKERS


Richard Sprenger

Richard Sprenger

Chairman, Highfield Qualifications

Improving food safety in practice
Over the years there have been many initiatives intended to improve food safety and reduce or prevent food poisoning. These include strict legislation and enforcement, staff training, HACCP, and audits and inspections, etc. These have usually been introduced independently and not as part of a coordinated programme. Despite these initiatives, preventable food poisoning outbreaks and food complaints continue, even in those countries that proudly claim to have some of the safest food in the world.

Having over 50 years of food safety experience at the highest level, Richard has been responsible for implementing several food safety initiatives with varying degrees of short-term success. He believes that the most significant, lasting improvements in food safety will only be achieved when all stakeholders work together with effective communication. Strategies should be based on science and the objective should be the competency of all involved. Managers and owners must have the knowledge and commitment to accept responsibility for food safety within their business and not have to rely on third parties to identify hazards and recommend controls.

Dawn Welham

Dawn Welham

Operations and Technical Services Director, Caterers Choice Ltd. President of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
Geoffrey Podger

Geoffrey Podger

Former Chief Executive at the Food Standards Agency, the European Food Safety Authority and the Health and Safety Executive

Brexit and beyond – will the UK leaving the EU bring changes to food safety standards and controls?
Our future relationship with the EU is bound to have a major impact on our food safety standards and controls, whatever final withdrawal agreement is or is not reached. Even if we remain close to the EU, there is a likelihood that over time divergences will begin to appear. At the other extreme a ‘hard Brexit’ would raise the possibility of the UK moving towards a set of standards and controls much more influenced by the New World than the Old. The presentation will look at the immediate changes after 29 March but also examine what wider changes may follow in time.

Geoffrey Podger had enjoyed a national and international career as a regulator, first in the area of food safety and then in occupational health and safety. He was the founding chief executive of both the UK Food Standards Agency and the European Food Safety Authority, and in these and other roles has negotiated extensively in the EU environment. He currently undertakes a number of chair and non-executive or advisory roles for a variety of public, voluntary and commercial organisations. Geoffrey has a continuing involvement in UK/EU relations through his role as Head of the UK Delegation to the Intergovernmental Commission on the Channel Tunnel.

Sterling Crew

Sterling Crew

Managing Director SQS Ltd, Strategic Advisor at Dynamic Risk Indicator and the Shield Safety Group

Current problems, future solutions
Food consumed in the UK is among the safest, most authentic and nutritious in the world. Food and drink is the largest manufacturing sector in the country, making a major contribution to GDP and exports and employs over 400,000 people. Sterling highlights the importance of a robust, secure food supply chain and examines some of the recent food safety outbreaks, incidents and challenges that have undermined consumer confidence and trust. Food safety is absolutely key and consumers and watchdogs want to be assured their food is safe, know where it comes from and its provenance. As food technology and supply networks are becoming increasingly complex and globalised, it makes safety, traceability and recall ever more challenging. Future practical solutions to further strengthen the food chain from farm to fork are reviewed.

Sterling Crew is Managing Director of SQS Ltd. He is a Strategic Advisor at Dynamic Risk Indicator and the Shield Safety Group. Sterling is the Independent Scientific Advisor at Campden BRI and sits on its board. He is also on the audit governance board at Eurofins. He chairs the Institute of Food Science and Technologies Food Safety Group.
He has 35 years’ experience of working in the field of international food safety, governance, communication and regulation. He started his career in local government before a successful track history in retailing with Marks & Spencer and Tesco. He has also worked in the branded environment for Coca Cola and Disney and two food manufacturers. Sterling’s experience as a regulator, retailer, brand owner and food manufacturer has given him a unique perspective of the challenges in the global food supply network. He is a regular public health commentator.

University of Birmingham

Madeleine Smith

Reader in Food Safety, University of Birmingham

Are the professionals ready? Current competency and future needs
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 will discuss the implications of such evaluations and the necessity for inspectors to understand risk points attributable to complex food supply chains.

Madeleine Smith qualified as an Environmental Health Officer in 1993 and then worked 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 she 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 the award-bearing courses, the group offers specialist short courses to competent authorities in the UK and overseas as well as to the food industry.

Dr Lisa Ackerley

Dr Lisa Ackerley

Food Safety Adviser, UKHospitality, Visiting Professor University of Salford

Food safety issues and the media
In today’s instantly connected world, thought and preparation is key to avoid broadcasting something undesirable, which could follow you around for many years to come.
Together, Dr Lisa Ackerley and Tony Lewis will discuss the do’s and don’ts of navigating food safety issues and the media, current topical issues such as allergens and acrylamide as well as the way in which the media approaches incidents.

Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner Dr Lisa Ackerley is an independent food safety consultant providing expert advice and support to most food industry sectors and to the mass media on food safety issues. As the ‘Hygiene Doctor’ she provides advice to consumers on home hygiene www.thehygienedoctor.co.uk

Tony Lewis

Tony Lewis

Associate Professor at the Royal Agricultural University

Food safety issues and the media
In today’s instantly connected world, thought and preparation is key to avoid broadcasting something undesirable, which could follow you around for many years to come. Together, Dr Lisa Ackerley and Tony Lewis will discuss the do’s and don’ts of navigating food safety issues and the media, current topical issues such as allergens and acrylamide as well as the way in which the media approaches incidents.

Tony Lewis is a Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner, a Fellow of CIEH and is currently an Associate Professor at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) where he has a brief that includes research and teaching in food. Prior to joining RAU in January 2019, Tony was employed for many years as Head of Policy at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. Tony has previously been a senior academic in environmental health at Manchester Polytechnic, Nottingham Trent University and the School of Public Health Medicine at Nottingham University. He has also contributed to the Master of Studies Programme in Public Health at Homerton School of Health Sciences at Cambridge University.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Head of Regulatory Compliance Division, Regulatory Compliance, People and NI Directorate at Food Standards Agency

Regulating our future – key changes for the industry and regulators
The presentation will provide 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 2019/20.

Michael Jackson is the Head of Regulatory Compliance at the 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.

John Barnes

John Barnes

Strategic Advisor Shield Safety Group

Food hygiene rating scheme - the drive for transparency – current issues, what next?
The FSA has 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 Food Hygiene Rating Scheme 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. The presentation will look at the impact of FHRS, the issues delaying implementation of mandatory FHRS display in England and whether to expect implementing legislation in the near future.

Until 2015, John Barnes was Head of Local Delivery at the Food Standards Agency. He is currently a Director at Enmoore Ltd, Strategic Advisor to the Shield Safety Group and a visiting lecturer in food safety at the University of Birmingham. John is an EHO by profession and has extensive experience negotiating and implementing EU food law and chairing international meetings on food safety controls. John 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 2015 John was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of The Society of Food Hygiene Technology (SOFHT) for his exceptional contribution to food hygiene and safety.