Food Safety Forum

8 November 2012

Food safety and how to protect Australia's reputation for producing affordable, nutritious and safe fresh produce is the focus of a forum at the University of Sydney today.

"The 2006 spinach crisis in the US and the European sprout problems of 2011 demonstrate the importance of our industry working together from paddock to plate to ensure continued fresh food safety in Australia," said Associate Professor Robyn McConchie, head of the Plant and Food Sciences department of the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment at the University of Sydney.

"Fresh Produce Safety - Building a New Paradigm brings together international experts, representatives of government, industry associations, growers, packers and processers, wholesalers and retailers, food safety trainers and practitioners from Australia and New Zealand, all with a focus on protecting and enhancing food quality and safety in fresh produce," said Associate Professor McConchie.

Ms Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, CEO of the Centre for Produce Safety (CPS) at the University of California, Davis is a keynote speaker.

The CPS is a collaborative partnership that leverages the combined expertise of industry, government and the scientific and academic communities to focus on research that preserves and enhances food safety.

"One of the CPS priorities is to support industry-wide food safety programs by making scientific research available through reports, webinars and direct access to experts," said Ms Fernandez-Fenaroli.

A taskforce initiated by the Australian Produce Marketing Association will work collaboratively with industry, research and regulatory communities, to identify research priorities for Australia and to facilitate communication and outreach.

Other expert speakers presenting at the conference are from the US Produce Marketing Association, the Australian + New Zealand Produce Marketing Association, Horticulture Australia Limited and the University of Sydney.

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Media enquiries: Verity Leatherdale, 02 9351 4312, 0403 067 342,

Associate Professor Robyn McConchie 0401718413 or Ms Erika Watson 0450061434