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24 November 2023

UK Food Safety Experts Gather in Cardiff to Discuss Food Safety Resilience

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Nearly 200 food and drink industry professionals have gathered in Cardiff this week to discuss food safety resilience at the 20th annual United Kingdom Association for Food Protection (UKAFP) conference.

Organised by Cardiff Metropolitan University’s ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre, the UKAFP conference brings together food and drink processing and manufacturing businesses with academics and environmental health professionals.

Helen Taylor, Technical Director, ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre said:

“As food safety professionals, it has never been more important for us to come together to discuss the latest science and solutions so we can continue to respond to and overcome the challenges faced in this ever-evolving food landscape.”

“Food safety remains a top priority for consumers and it is imperative that we, as food safety professionals, share knowledge, experience, and expertise in order to continue to build a resilient and robust food safety sector in Wales and beyond.”

Delegates heard from Carmel Lynskey, deputy director at the Food Standards Agency on how the FSA is building resilience in regulation and from Professor Louise Manning of the Lincoln Institute of Agri-food Technology on how we make food supply chains more resilient. Other speakers included Dr Benjamin Johns, clinical scientist at Public Health Wales speaking about the role it plays in food safety in Wales, John Figgins, senior technical manager at BRCGS giving insights from the third-party auditing perspective and Dr Rachel Ward, managing scientist at Exponent talking about resilience when handling a food safety crisis.

Carmel Lynskey, Head of Achieving Business Compliance Programme, Food Standards Agency said:  

“The food industry today has come a long way from when the food safety act was passed three decades ago, so we are developing new ways to maintain effective regulatory oversight over a more diverse and complex food system.

Effective regulation plays a critical role in maintaining consumer confidence and supporting businesses. To keep maintaining the high standards of food safety we enjoy in the UK, it is important that we continue working together to keep food safe and find the smartest way to protect millions of consumers.”

Running alongside the conference programme, UKAFP and ZERO2FIVE ran a poster competition for students and early career scientists to present their research to the delegates. The best poster was awarded a prize of £100 at the close of the conference.

The UKAFP exists to provide UK food safety professionals with a forum to exchange information on protecting the food supply chain. The association represents people involved in all aspects of growing, storing, transporting, processing and preparing foods including educators, government officials, microbiologists, food industry executives and quality control professionals.

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