Food safety product recalls focus industry attention

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Professor Colin Dennis will once again chair Food Manufacture's food safety conference
Professor Colin Dennis will once again chair Food Manufacture's food safety conference

Related tags Food standards agency Food safety

A product recall of rum and chicken and sweetcorn salad from Asda was announced by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) over the past month.

Asda’s Chicken & Sweetcorn Pasta Salad was found to have the presence of salmonella. Fish products were also recalled over concerns about potential Clostridium botulinum contamination and bottles of rum were suspected of containing glass fragments.

These incidents, and others over the past few months and years, highlight the fact that the UK's food and drink supply chain still has the ability to undermine consumer confidence in its products, despite its best efforts to ensure products are both safe and legal.

Food Manufacture's 2016 one-day food safety conference, ‘Boosting consumer confidence in times of change’, which takes place on October 13 at etc.venues, near London Bridge Station, will address these concerns directly.

‘Boosting consumer confidence’

The event, chaired by Professor Colin Dennis, president of the US Institute of Food Technologists and former director-general of Campden BRI, will examine manufacturers’ role in boosting consumer confidence in the food and drink they consume following recent highly publicised scandals and food poisoning outbreaks.

It will examine the changing regulatory environment, which could hit public confidence regarding the safety and authenticity of products. It will also provide advice for manufacturers on the action to take when things go wrong to prevent damage in terms of both cost and reputation to their businesses.

Prevent damage

Speakers in the first session, ‘Ensuring safe and secure food supply chains’, will include: Sue Davies, chief policy officer at Which?; Andy Morling, head of the FSA's Food Crime Unit; forensic accounting expert Professor Lisa Jack, University of Portsmouth; and John O’Brien, deputy head of Nestlé Research Centre and head of food safety at Nestec.

Session two, ‘Product recalls: dealing with a crisis’, will include Dominic Watkins, partner with legal firm DWF; Jeff Hosking and Helen Rich, from insurer RSA; and Dr Vince Shiers, md of food safety consultancy RQA.

Two afternoon sessions will cover the use of data, ‘Knowledge is power’, and ‘Bugs and behaviours’.

Visit the conference web site​ for details about the one-day event and a full programme.

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