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
Hillary O'Reilly is the recipient of the 2015 OFPA George Brown Scholarship for outstanding academic achievement in Food and Nutrition Management. Hillary is currently working towards completion of her CSNM certification and due to graduate in June 2015. The OFPA wishes Hillary well in her future career and endeavors.
Yenny Kurniawan is a Food and Nutrition Management Student at George Brown College. She started at George Brown in 2013 where she found her passion for food, nutrition, and health and safety, when she graduated from the Culinary Management Nutrition program. Yenny is especially drawn towards health care. At this moment she is looking forward to completing her education and following her path to working and developing a career in the
health care industry.
Jigna Patel is in the final year of the Pharmaceutical and Food Science Technology program. She is a graduate of Durham College’s Chemical Laboratory Technician program as well. Jigna took a number of Microbiology courses, including Food Microbiology in both laboratory and lecture sessions. She is always engaged and interested in lecture and lab material.
Kaitlyn Balon is a graduate of Ryerson University from the School of Occupational and Public Health in the Public Health stream. Kaitlyn is currently applying to Masters Degree programs with a focus in Epidemiology. She is very interested in food safety, food microbiology and infectious disease.
The first recipient of the Clive Kingsbury poster prize was awarded to Kayla Murray (pictured) from the Department of Food Science, University of Guelph who presented her research on the decontamination of leafy greens using gas phase sanitizers.
Second place went to Cynthia Logie from AFL, University of Guelph who presented a poster relating to her work on Salmonella diagnostics in poultry production.
Rumpa Biswas (Department of Food Science, University of Guelph) was awarded 3rd place for her research on a comparative study of seed disinfection methods. The Clive Kingsbury award was established this year in remembrance of the late OFPA Vice President.
Thanks to all the short-listed students who presented in this years competition. From Left to Right: Nagwa Ali, Di Wang, Jessica Bannon, Kayla Murray, Moustappha Oki (OFPA), Rumpa Bhattacharjee, Carlos G Leon-Velarde and Cynthia Logie
Anamika Sarkar was this years recipient of the OFPA scholarship award in recognition for her academic performance in the area of biotechnology. She was awarded the $1000 cheque by Dr. Moustapha Oke of the OFPA (left) and Yves Deschenes, Associate Vice President, Human Resources (right) at the Centennial College Awards event held on the 15th March 2015.
Congratulations Anamika. We wish you well in the future.
To OFPA Members, Partners, Industry Colleagues, and Friends:
It’s hard to believe that 2018 is behind us now! I hope that you had a chance to enjoy some time with family and friends over the holiday season and recharged your batteries for the upcoming challenges ahead in 2019. The OFPA Board of Directors is eagerly planning the 2019 events schedule which will include a Spring Technical Meeting, a Fall Food Safety Symposium with our Annual General Meeting, a Breakfast Session, and potentially bringing back the Golf Tournament. We are eagerly building agendas for these sessions that will contain current, hot topics with exceptional Key Note Speakers. If you are willing to speak at an event, volunteer, want to join as a member or perhaps form a partnership agreement with the OFPA, please reach out and let’s get connected! As a not-for-profit organization, our success depends on the generosity of our volunteers, partnerships, and members.
If you have not renewed your membership for 2019, don’t wait please do so today! Note that it has been a number of years since we increased our membership dues, so don’t be alarmed if you notice a small price increase for 2019.
On-line membership renewal is on our website at www.ofpa.on.ca/membership
I’d like to take a moment to thank those who we had partnership agreements within 2018 and we hope to continue these agreements into 2019. A special thank you to NSF International for always showing their support at all our OFPA events and providing some top-notch speakers. And to Strategy Institute for providing an excellent opportunity for us to share the objectives of the OFPA at their Food Safety, Regulatory and Quality Symposiums. We look forward to expanding our partnership agreements with Global Food Safety Resources, the University of Guelph Food Science Division, and TrainCan. Building these partnerships directly supports the OFPA’s mission to represent Industry, government, and academia by bringing us together in a forum to promote, educate and communicate innovations in food safety! Food safety is not a secret, it’s everyone’s business. So, let’s continue to learn and share together to make 2019 and the years to come safe for our loved ones.
I am honored to represent the OFPA in 2019 as President and very proud of our board of directors as we have a wonderful team of volunteers from all sectors of industry, academia, and government. I look forward to seeing you all at the upcoming OFPA events.