Fresh Produce Safety Centre Conference 2018
Wednesday 26 September, 2018
University of Sydney

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Food Safety – It’s Your Responsibility’.

Food safety is one of the most critical issues facing the food industry today. Getting it wrong can be dangerous and sometimes fatal to consumers as well as ruinous to growers, processors, suppliers and retailers alike.

The increasing complexity of the food supply chain, and the ongoing challenges of globalisation and technology, have multiplied the risks within the food sector, while the threat of deliberate contamination (as in this month’s strawberry scare) represents another challenge for both businesses and regulators.

Listeria remains a menace to the food industry and the 2018 Fresh Produce Safety Centre Conference opens with an important  session chaired by food safety veteran Richard Bennett that asks: ‘Listeria outbreaks: Are we any the wiser?’ Microbiologist and food scientist Dr Robert Premier will explain why Listeria is such a lethal danger to consumers and what makes it different to other pathogens. Dr Craig Shadbolt from the NSW Department of Primary Industries will present a case study based on this year’s Rombola melon incident, in which six Australians died of listeria, and other cases around the world, including the 2012 Jensen Farms outbreak in the United States that claimed more than 30 lives.

Training is the key to an effective food safety culture and Brendan Hayes from Coles and AUSVEG’s Andrew Shaw will offer a retailer’s and grower’s view of food safety training.

What happens when things do go wrong? Kashif Ahmed of Symbio Laboratories will give practical advice on laboratory testing, explaining the journey from sample selection to test result and asking, ‘What does the result tell you about the source of the outbreak?’ Steve Hather of the Recall Institute explores the worst-case scenario and asks ‘Can your business survive a recall?’

International perspectives will come from Dr Sylvain Charlebois, Canadian author of five books and one of the world’s most cited scholars in food supply chain management and food value chains, who will address the issue of food fraud; and from Suresh DeCosta, the Director of Food Safety for Lipman Family Farms in Illinois, USA, whose keynote address will focus on international developments in food safety.

In the conference’s final session, Ruth McLennan of Dairy Farm and FSBC director Catherine Richardson will examine food safety from an exporter’s perspective. With the rockmelon incident still fresh in the memory, and footage on the nightly news of strawberries being ploughed into the ground, Ruth and Catherine attempt to answer the crucial question, ‘Is Australia-New Zealand’s reputation for safe food at risk?’

View the full program at the Fresh Produce Safety Centre A-NZ website.

Registrations have now closed, however registration on the day will be available between 8.15 and 8.45 am

Media inquiries:
Stephen Fujiwara
Senior Administration Officer
02 86271058
0423 152 800