New Zealand Food Safety Lecture Series 2019

Food industry and food safety leaders gave presentations at the 2019 New Zealand Food Safety Lecture Series. The lectures in Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington covered a range of food safety issues, and audience members had the chance to ask questions.

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About the series

The New Zealand Food Safety Lecture Series 2019 featured 2 lectures in Auckland, a lecture in Christchurch, and 1 in Wellington. At each lecture, experts spoke on food safety issues and audience members had the chance to ask questions.

Videos, transcripts, and presentations are available now for the first 2 lectures. Lectures 3 and 4 will be available soon.

Lecture series videos, transcripts, and presentations

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Lecture 1: Responding to increasing challenges in New Zealand's food safety system

Video – Responding to increasing challenges in New Zealand's food safety system (1:21.45)

Presentations

1. Food regulation now and in the future

This lecture focused on Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). FSANZ develops food standards for Australia and New Zealand.

The Food Standards Code is enforced by state and territory departments, agencies, and local councils in Australia, the Ministry for Primary Industries in New Zealand, and the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for food imported into Australia.

Robyn discusses the bi-national food regulation system and the key drivers affecting the system, the context for modernisation, FSANZ’s response to change, and what the future holds for the food standards body.

NZFS Lecture Series 2019 - Lecture 1, part 1 slideshow - Food regulation now and in the future [PDF, 922 KB]


2. Campylobacter

This topic focuses on the foodborne illness Campylobacteriosis and explores the historical and current challenges posed to food safety experts.

Campylobacter is a bacterium that can be found in raw chicken meat, offal, raw milk and raw milk products, and other foods. It is the most common foodborne disease in New Zealand, with chicken meat the most common source of foodborne Campylobacter.

Although historically New Zealand has one of the highest rates of notified foodborne Campylobacteriosis in the world, it is important to realise that there are differences between countries in the way data is collected and that this makes it difficult to compare rates of illness without in-depth studies of factors that determine the rate.

New Zealand Food Safety has prioritised our work around Campylobacter to further reduce illness, and our research around the different sources of Campylobacter and how people get infected.

NZFS Lecture Series 2019 - Lecture 1, part 2 slideshow - Campylobacter [PDF, 1.7 MB]


Speakers

Dr Steve Hathaway (chief food safety scientist, New Zealand Food Safety)

Steve has a long involvement in food safety research and the development of regulatory food control systems and standards, initially as director of programme development in the New Zealand Food Safety Authority, through to his current position as the chief food safety scientist for New Zealand Food Safety. He has more than 250 publications in science journals and conference proceedings.


Robyn Kruk, AO (chairperson, Food Standards Australia New Zealand)

Robyn has extensive experience as chief executive of national and state policy, regulatory and service delivery agencies, including New South Wales (NSW) Health, NSW Premier and Cabinet and national and state environment agencies. She established and served as inaugural chief executive/commissioner of the National Mental Health Commission.


Glen Neal (general manager, Food Standards Australia New Zealand)

Glen is currently the general manager of the Food Standards Branch, which is responsible for setting labelling, nutrition and product safety standards for both countries. He is also responsible for oversight of the agencies’ finances. He has extensive experience in food safety both in New Zealand and Australia.


Host

Bryan Wilson (deputy director-general, New Zealand Food Safety)

Bryan is the deputy director-general for New Zealand Food Safety. He is responsible for the Ministry for Primary Industries’ regulatory activities and functions across the food safety and primary production systems. Previously Bryan has worked in regulation across a range of industries in New Zealand and Australia.

Lecture 2: Building confidence in New Zealand's food system

Video – Building confidence in New Zealand's food system (1:08.32)

Presentations

1. Trust in the food safety system for different segments of society

Consumers have a wide variety of views and awareness of the food safety system. There's a role for food producers, food businesses, and regulators to engage with consumers meaningfully about the concerns they may have. We're making some strides towards increased transparency and responsiveness, but there is more work to be done. 

To complicate matters, different parts of the community have different demands — with some segments having larger ‘trust deficits’ than others. How do we — those who work in the food system — address this issue and find meaningful solutions to increase confidence?

NZFS Lecture Series 2019 - Lecture 2, part 1 slideshow - Trust in the food system [PDF, 1.5 MB]


2. Contamination, communication and confidence

This lecture explores significant food safety events involving contaminants in the food supply.

In 2018, Australian food safety officials were faced with a deliberate saboteur who devastated the Australian strawberry market when they exacted an act of workplace revenge by inserting sewing needles in whole strawberries that were sold in punnets to consumers. Not only did it have an impact on the sales of strawberries, but it resulted in copycat cases throughout Australia and New Zealand.

NZFS Lecture Series 2019 - Lecture 2, part 2 slideshow - Contamination, Communication and Confidence [PDF, 3.6 MB]


Speakers

Nadine Tunley (chief executive officer, Oha Honey)

Nadine has over 30 years’ experience in the New Zealand food and fibre sector particularly pipfruit, seafood, meat, and dairy. Nadine has spent much of her career focused on start-ups, business development, international trade, finance, logistics, and administration.


Dr Paul Dansted (director of food regulation, New Zealand Food Safety)

Dr Paul Dansted is the director of food regulation for New Zealand Food Safety. The food regulation directorate is responsible for developing food production, processing, testing, and import and export standards. Regular engagement with the industry is an essential part of this work. Paul has worked in policy, operations, science, and regulatory roles in the public sector. He has also led and contributed to development of international food standards.


Host

Bryan Wilson (deputy director-general, New Zealand Food Safety)

Bryan is the deputy director-general for New Zealand Food Safety. He is responsible for the Ministry for Primary Industries’ regulatory activities and functions across the food safety and primary production systems. Previously Bryan has worked in regulation across a range of industries in New Zealand and Australia.

Lecture 3: Food Safety on the world food stage

Video – Food safety on the world food stage (1:28.43)

Presentations

1. Food regulations and their effects on international trade agreements

This lecture examines how governments are modernising food safety systems to facilitate trade, recognising the complicated issues that are associated with international trade and how we provide assurances around food and food safety to our offshore partners.

NZFS Lecture Series 2019 - Lecture 3, part 1 slideshow - Food regulations and their effects on international trade agreements [PDF, 908 KB]


2. Communicating science to lay people

Rod presents on the topic of science communication with more focus on risk, persuasion, and ethics. He addresses many of the issues and challenges scientists and government regulators face in the digital age, with a nod to how we discuss complicated food safety issues and topics.

NZFS Lecture Series 2019 - Lecture 3, part 2 slideshow - Communicating science to lay people [PDF, 1.7 MB]


Speakers

Bruce Burdon (manager of market access liaison and cooperation, Ministry for Primary Industries)

Bruce is the manager of market access liaison and cooperation, in the policy and trade branch of the Ministry for Primary Industries. He has extensive experience in the development and implementation of food safety and food trade law. His previous role was chief advisor for regulatory reform at the Ministry of Economic Development, focusing on improving the quality of regulatory (market) design and strengthening the economic growth focus of the regulatory environment. Prior to that Bruce was deputy director (policy) at the New Zealand Food Safety Authority focusing on leading 4 food policy teams, setting strategic food policy direction, and the review, development, reform, implementation, and evaluation of legislation in line with that direction.


Dr Rod Lamberts (deputy director, Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science)

Dr Rod Lamberts is deputy director of the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS) at the Australian National University and a former national president of the Australian Science Communicators (retired injured in 2013). He has more than 20 years’ experience as a science communication practitioner and researcher, and designed and delivered some of the first university science communication courses in Australia.


Host

Paul Dansted (director of food regulation, New Zealand Food Safety)

Paul is the director of food regulation in the New Zealand Food Safety business unit of the Ministry for Primary Industries. His directorate is responsible for developing food production, processing, testing, and import and export standards. The directorate spends most of its time on working with the food industry to meet these standards and to produce safe and suitable food. Paul started his professional life as a policy analyst, and has worked in policy, operations, science, and regulatory roles. He has contributed to and led development of international food standards.

Lecture 4: New Zealanders benefiting from food technology

Video – New Zealanders benefiting from food technology (1:14.56)

Presentations

1. Regaining consumer trust in a digital age

With so much information circulated online and in media, how do we know what’s accurate and what’s not? We’ll explore what scientists and food safety experts do to communicate complicated information so people know how to make good decisions for themselves and their families. We’ll also explore what the science says about some controversial food safety subjects.

NZFS Lecture Series 2019 - Lecture 4, part 1 slideshow - Regaining consumer trust in a digital age [PDF, 3.7 MB]


2. Impact of food-borne illness for New Zealand – not just an upset stomach

Fiona explores the socioeconomic costs of food-borne illnesses in New Zealand and equivalent countries, and how these illnesses impact different communities. This lecture will include interesting statistics and data from the past couple of decades.

NZFS Lecture Series 2019 - Lecture 4, part 2 slideshow - Impact of food-borne illness for New Zealand – not just an upset stomach [PDF, 995 KB]


Speakers

John Roche (chief science advisor, New Zealand Food Safety)

John is the chief science adviser for MPI. He provides strategic science advice and leads the organisation’s Science Forum, which works to promote MPI’s scientific expertise. John also chairs the independent Mycoplasma bovis Strategic Science Advisory Group (SSAG) and the Kauri Dieback SSAG.


Fiona Thomson-Carter (director of food science and risk assessment, Ministry for Primary Industries)

Fiona is director for food science and risk assessment at New Zealand Food Safety. She is a microbiologist and was principal clinical scientist at the Scottish National Reference Laboratory for E. coli O157 and Campylobacter species. She has specific expertise in applying molecular characterization methodologies to enteric pathogens applied in the investigation of major outbreaks of food-borne disease. She has served on a wide range of national and international research steering groups. In New Zealand, Fiona has been responsible for delivery of critical operational science and regulatory risk assessment in a number of areas important in human and environmental health, particularly food safety.


Host

Paul Dansted (director of food regulation, New Zealand Food Safety)

Paul is the director of food regulation in the New Zealand Food Safety business unit of the Ministry for Primary Industries. His directorate is responsible for developing food production, processing, testing, and import and export standards. The directorate spends most of its time on working with the food industry to meet these standards and to produce safe and suitable food. Paul started his professional life as a policy analyst, and has worked in policy, operations, science, and regulatory roles. He has contributed to and led development of international food standards.

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