Lincoln leading food safety and security discussion

Key issues around future food security challenges will be discussed at a workshop at Lincoln University next month.

It is part of a series of short courses set up to help industry professionals deal with increasingly complex and rapidly changing patterns in global food consumption, manufacturing and retailing.

Lincoln University Senior Lecturer in Food Microbiology Dr Malik Hussain says it will be the first workshop to address the issue in New Zealand.

“Food safety and security play a critical role in the sustainable growth of global economy and continually positive development of the food market,” Dr Hussain says.

“Microbial and chemical contaminants of food derived from raw materials or evolved during processing or storage have been becoming increasingly alerted throughout the world.

“A fundamental requirement has arisen to develop new approaches to food safety and security identification, monitoring and remediation systems.”

He says the workshop will address this requirement from a technical view point and deliver science-based information on food safety, quality and security to provide industry and institutional personnel with cutting edge information on food inspection and quarantine, and international standards for food hygiene.

It will create a platform for meaningful debate into topical issues affecting the global food market, and provide relevant updates on foodborne diseases and outbreaks, food poisoning and information on the best practice of new techniques within a changing world, Dr Hussain says.

The courses are run through the Department of Wine, Food and Molecular Biosciences, and involve participation from industry experts such as AgResearch and The Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR).

Dr Hussain and two colleagues, Associate Professor Ravi Gooneratne and Professor Charles Brennan, have been awarded a $96,000 MBIE grant to conduct workshops in China which address food safety issues related to microbial contaminants, chemical contaminants and their residues.

They will also initiate setting up a joint food safety laboratory at Jinan University, in Guangzhou China, and an exchange of scientists and postgraduates between Jinan and Guangdong Ocean Universities and Lincoln University.

All three will speak at the workshop along with Stephen On, ESR Chief Scientist, and Jinan University Professor William Riley.

More information on the courses can found at www.lincoln.ac.nz/dwfmb

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