NZ: Top overseas speakers headline food safety conference

19-08-2010 | |

The world’s big guns of food safety will be in Auckland for two days early September for the New Zealand Food Safety Authority’s 2010 conference.

Highlights of the conference include top US food safety lawyer Bill Marler who has taken many successful class action lawsuits against food businesses. He has represented victims of nearly every large foodborne illness outbreak in the United States, securing over half a billion dollars for his clients.
From the UK, Alyson Smith will tell the fascinating tale of Michelin-starred celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal’s ‘Fat Duck’ restaurant and how more than 500 diners were struck down with norovirus, making headlines around the world.
Dr Bob Brackett is at the top of food safety in the United States and will be looking at how everyone from the farm to fork has a food safety role to play. Until recently with the US Grocery Manufacturers Association, he is now Vice President and Director at the National Center for Food Safety and Technology, a major US research consortium.
Food packaging consultant, expert witness, author and University of Queensland professor Gordon Robertson delves into food packaging and its impact on food hazards. While packaging removes some hazards and makes food safer, can it introduce new problems? Issues examined include printing inks, heavy metals, plasticisers and the use of recycled materials.
The many top local speakers at the conference will cover challenges to reputation, the importance of food safety to our food exports, food forensics, what statistics about foodborne illness really tell us, what works and what doesn’t when teaching young Kiwis to cook, kitchen horrors through the eyes of one of the country’s top chefs, what motivates New Zealanders to think about food safety at home, how new technology has given us outcome-based food practices that outstrip the bounds of old prescriptive food rules, what the future holds for nanotechnology, and what’s ahead for food safety and science-based food innovation.