Significant Contribution to Food Safety Award

The Significant Contribution to Food Safety award recognises a person or group that has made an improvement to food safety in New Zealand. Stay tuned for 2020 nominations.

About the award

Sponsored by New Zealand Food Safety, the Significant Contribution to Food Safety Award recognises an individual, team, or organisation that has made a significant improvement to food safety in New Zealand. This could include developing or improving a food safety process or operation. It could be in one sector, or across a few sectors. 

We're interested in improvements in any of the following areas:

  • science and research
  • equipment or processing technology
  • product or packaging development
  • industry best practice
  • building and maintaining a food safety culture (such as staff engagement processes and practices, education or training).

The winner will receive a trophy, travel to the awards dinner, accommodation, and a 12-month membership to the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology (NZIFST).

The award is presented at the NZIFST awards dinner.

2020 round

Nominations will open in 2020.

Previous winners of the award

2019: Rosie Waller

Food safety trainer Rosie Waller from Rotorua has taught many chefs, developed innovative food safety teaching resources, and coached community groups to encourage healthy eating and preparation of safe food. Rosie trained as a dietitian and has taught food safety for over 27 years, including as a senior lecturer at the Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology. She has promoted creative food safety teaching methods at other institutions, including the Eastern Institute of Technology in Hawkes Bay, and has ensured food safety was embedded into the Professional Cookery curriculum. Rosie has worked with Tuwharetoa iwi in central North Island to deliver food safety in ways that enhance commercial opportunities for iwi.

2018: Nigel French

Distinguished Professor Nigel French is a world expert in food safety, infectious diseases, and veterinary public health. The title of 'Distinguished Professor' – awarded by Massey University – recognises achievement of international importance. Nigel's leadership has impacted on the whole food safety and science research system in New Zealand.

He is an international authority on Campylobacter and contributed to a 50% reduction in human Campylobacter infections in New Zealand through improvements in the poultry supply.

2017 (inaugural award): Lesley Rhodes

Dr Rhodes has worked extensively in seafood safety, especially with shellfish – specialising in harmful algae. Lesley has led the Cawthron Institute's Safe New Zealand Seafood programme and was responsible for establishing food safety monitoring programmes to ensure New Zealand seafood meets international standards. 

Lesley's monitoring programmes have saved industry from large losses, and recreational fishers are now able to avoid areas with toxic algae.

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