Dr Keith Warriner of the University of Guelph conducted 16 interviews with 16 regional CBC radio stations across Canada on Monday 31st Aug. He was asked to comment on recent research from UCDavis highlighting the low efficacy of post-harvest washing to reduce contamination on spinach Washing Spinach
Although the findings of the research simply what has been known for 20 years the news story provided an oppertunity to inform consumers what steps are being taken at primary production to ensure food safety of leafy greens and also what they can do in the home to avoid foodborne illness.
In this edition of Spotlight, we spoke to Tina Brillinger, President & CEO of Global Food Safety Resource.
What type of service or supplies does your company provide to the food industry? Tina replied that Global Food Safety Resource provides an online information hub of trusted solutions and expertise in order to meet the needs of todays busy food professionals who increasing are looking for resources and solutions to meet the new requirements compliance that’s being demanded by governments and private businesses alike.
How long has GFSR been a member of the OFPA? Tina told us that the company had been a member since 2011. Tina responded to the question about the benefits of being a Sustaining Corporate Member (personally and for the company) by saying that being a member of the OFPA helps them stay informed on important changes taking place in the industry while providing the company with an opportunity to grow awareness of their resources to food businesses operating in Ontario who could benefit. She further mentioned that the Annual Meetings provided a great opportunity for her to network with others who have a similar interest and with vendors who provide solutions about their latest products and services.
Can you give us any insight into the future direction of the food industry? She responded by saying that, with the new requirements for compliance and certification standards by governments and private business, it was critical that food businesses become proactive to ensure the safety of their supply chains and consumers. Taking a proactive approach to food safety can ensure all suppliers have systems and protocols in place to mitigate any risk of food contamination that could be cause for a recall event to ensure their product label and brands are protected assets. Tina further stated that food businesses can no longer afford to operate in a way that was acceptable for the 20th century and be caught off guard by a supplier whose systems have fallen through the cracks. Businesses who wish to grow and prosper in the 21st century must consider automating their processes to better manage their documents for easy retrieval in the event of an unexpected inspection or recall event. No one business can assume all their suppliers are meeting the certain minimum requirements for compliance, it was their responsibility to ensure that the standards and systems of all their suppliers are actively monitored for compliance.
Is there anything else you would like the readership of the OFPA to know about your company, your commitment to food safety, or as a sustaining corporate member? Tina stated that since it’s launched in 2010, Global Food Safety Resource (GFSR) had enabled food professionals and business owners to tap into valuable resources on everything from traceability and supply chain management to certification standards, food science and software technology to automate processes for compliance. She said that working with a team of writers and subject matter experts in the area of food safety, GFSR publishes easy-to-read articles with an editorial format that is both pragmatic and digestible to ensure food safety professionals can gain a greater sense of clarity and practical insight on issues and topics that are of interest to them. To meet the growing needs of stakeholders operating in global markets, GFSR has recently made its content available for translation in 60 languages with content supported through a mobile platform for easy access by smartphone and tablets. With it’s recent restructuring site visitors can navigate the site much easier to find relevant resources with its new category groupings like industry standards and regulatory compliance or simply the section titled ‘resources’ where they can access everything from food safety news updates to whitepapers and blogs or Webinars and Video to stay current and up-to-date with what’s happening in the industry.
She finished by saying that in the past year, GFSR has quadrupled the number of visits to its site which offers a Complimentary Free Membership where Members can choose the kinds of information they wish to receive that can help them stay informed and increase their knowledge, including their popular eNewsletter, eye on Food SafetyTM, featuring articles, whitepapers and a Calendar of Events. Her final thought was that many food professionals like social media so they can stay attuned to what’s happening in the industry in ‘real time’.
Food professionals can join GFSR’s active discussions through its LinkedIn group or Twitter Feed @GFSRCentre. To access the wide range of resources that’s available online visit them at www.globalfoodsafetyresource.com
It was with mixed feelings that we said farewell to the OFPA President Peter Stein who will be moving to Halifax in the near future to seek new opportunities (maybe as a lobster fisherman). Peter joined the OFPA board in 2011 and soon became known as Mr Golf due to his mastery of organizing the Golf Tournament. Indeed, the events organized by Peter were among the most popular events in the history of the OFPA. Peter also was the driving force in organizing the Fall and Spring Meetings for which he also participated in the lively round table sessions. He assumed the Vice Presidency in 2014 where he was a tireless contributor to the OFPA and at one point we did question if he had time for his day job. Peter assumed the presidency in 2015 but with opportunities knocking he made the decision to move out East to be with his wife.
We thank Peter for his contributions to the OFPA and sure we will see him at events when he is back in town. Lynne Fruhner will now become the interim President and will formally become President in 2016. May 2015. The OFPA wishes Peter good luck for the future. From right to left, Greg Vallee, Ananth Kasic, Shirely Chalouh, Katherine Di Tormmaso, Lynne Fruhner, Moustapha Oke, Peter Stein, Tatitana Koutchma and Keith Warriner (Picture by Martha Palomar)
We are pleased to announce that Shirley M Chalouh has been voted as interim Vice-President and so will move from head of the sponsorship committee. Moustapha Oke was voted to the position of interim Treasurer and will transfer from the Scholarship committee. May 2015
Mike Byerley has announced that he will be leaving the board of the OFPA to focus on his growing consultancy business. He joined the board in 2014 and took over as editor of the famous Prophylaxis newsletter. The OFPA board thanks Mike for his contributions to the Association and wish him well for the future.
"The Ontario Food Protection Association has been a great resource for our company. We have found the programs and workshops extremely helpful, and the networking with other food industry peers is excellent" | Andrew Sweet - Maxxam Analytics
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