food safety centre
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Quality-Safety/New-Welsh-food-safety-centre
By Mike Stones, 23-Apr-2009
Improved safety standards and
greater support for the food industry in Wales are the twin goals of a
new research centre opened yesterday at the School of Health Sciences,
which is based at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff.
The £5m facility will help local food businesses
to introduce and monitor the rigorous food safety processes needed to
comply with global food safety standards.
The new centre will also conduct applied
research into food industry subjects and supply graduates with the
specific skills needed by the food industry.
In addition to academic courses, the facility
will also provide practical courses on assessing and managing food safety
risks. The target audience for these training courses will people working
in the local food industry, representatives from local authority food
agencies and food science and environmental health students.
Included in the new centre will be the first
sensory suite in Wales where new food products can be taste-tested under
Another of the food centre’s missions is to
promote the understanding of diet and lifestyle on the ageing process and
the diseases that are common in Wales. These include: Type 2 diabetes,
cardiovascular disease, obesity and asthma.
Opening the centre yesterday, first minister
Rhodri Morgan said: "The tragic and avoidable consequences of the
E.coli outbreak and the central findings of the Pennington
inquiry show clearly how important developing high standards in food safety management is.
“That is what makes opening this centre such an
important event. It will also provide support for the Welsh food industry
through its cutting-edge research and technology."
In 2005 the largest ever outbreak of E. coli
in Wales, and the second largest in the UK, resulted in one death and
more than 150 people falling sick. The outbreak was eventually traced to
a manufacturer in Bridgend, South Wales which supplied cooked sliced
meats to 44 local schools.
Professor Hugh Pennington who was appointed to
Chair the Inquiry, subsequently made specific recommendations covering E.
coli research, surveillance, enforcement and the handling of an outbreak.