Minister for Food Safety, Dr Ayesha Verrall, with the 2021 Award winner Denver McGregor from New Zealand King Salmon, and deputy director-general New Zealand Food Safety Vince Arbuckle.

Nominations are open for the 2022 Significant Contribution to Food Safety Award, sponsored by New Zealand Food Safety.

As part of the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology (NZIFST) Awards, the Significant Contribution to Food Safety Award recognises developments in a process or operation – either by an organisation, team or individual – to improve food safety in the food chain.

New Zealand Food Safety welcomes nominees who have:

•        made improvements in areas such as science and research, equipment or processing technology, product and packaging development, and industry best practice, or

•        built and maintained an effective food safety culture through staff engagement, leadership, or continual improvement.

“We are proud that New Zealand is home to many forward-thinking, solutions-oriented food safety champions, and we want to tell their stories through the Significant Contribution to Food Safety Award,” says New Zealand Food Safety’s Deputy Director General, Vincent Arbuckle.

“The success of our food safety system depends on the dedication and expertise of people throughout New Zealand’s food industry and it’s important to recognise the people and organisations that maintain and grow New Zealand’s strong reputation as a provider of safe and suitable food,” Arbuckle says.

To nominate individuals, teams, and/or organisations, visit Significant Contribution to Food Safety Award. Self-nominations are also accepted. Nominations close at 5pm on 3 June 2022.

The Award will be announced on 6 July at the 2022 NZIFST Conference, in Rotorua. The Significant Contribution to Food Safety Award winner will receive a trophy, and a 12-month NZIFST membership.

Previous winners of the Award are Denver McGregor (2021), Aaron Dodunski (2020), Rosie Waller (2019), Professor Nigel French (2018) and Dr Lesley Rhodes (2017).

Nelson-based McGregor was recognised for his commitment to maintaining a great food safety culture within his company and his contributions to Listeria monocytogenes management in the field.

Denver and his food safety team have been determined to find out as much as they can about this evolving pathogen to continue to provide safe and suitable products for their consumers. In 2018, Denver was the first in the New Zealand seafood industry to pioneer a Listeria Strategy Programme, involving genome sequencing, to better understand Listeria monocytogenes, its occurrence within the New Zealand King Salmon manufacturing environment, and find proven methods to control it.

This programme enables New Zealand King Salmon to accurately match a strain of Listeria back to the original source. The company is now able to use this technology and research findings to create methods to eliminate Listeria from the manufacturing environment.

If you have any questions, please email nzfsawards@mpi.govt.nz or call 0800 00 83 33.

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