Health Sciences Research and Enterprise - Food Safety

Food Safety Research Group

Food Safety Research Group

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​The Food Safety Research Group conducts its research at the School's Food Industry Centre (FIC). The group's research activities relate to three key areas of food safety:

  • Food safety in the food industry
  • Consumer and domestic food safety
  • Food safety education, communication and training

 

The food safety research team annually present research at the major international food safety conferences; the European Symposium on Food Safety and the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP). Additionally, as members of the UK Affiliate for Food Protection, members of the research team organise and host the UK Association for Food Protection conference each year.

 

Research Areas

Food safety in the food industry 

Given the links the FIC has with the food industry in Wales, the research group frequently conducts research projects with Welsh food and drink manufacturing and processing businesses in relation to different areas of food safety. Recent and current projects have focused on: identifying the barriers to obtaining and maintaining food safety scheme compliance; waste reduction; application of lean manufacturing principles; industry experiences relating to food-product reformulation

Food safety food industry

and assessing food handler compliance with hand hygiene protocols. Other projects in collaboration with industrial partners include a comparison of the effectiveness of allergen verification methods and test kits in a real-time food manufacturing environment, and evaluation of the repeatability of surface adenosine triphosphate (ATP) test devices at different environmental temperatures.

Research outcomes (that often have implications for food businesses in Wales) are frequently presented to the Welsh Government to inform policy and interventions to achieve growth in the Welsh food industry in line with Towards Sustainable Growth: An Action Plan for the Food and Drink Industry 2014-2020.

 

Consumer domestic food safety

food safety listeria

The research group has a long history of conducting consumer food safety research and are internationally recognised for contributions to this area. This is in part due to the innovative research facilities based within the FIC, such as the model domestic kitchen which allows for unobtrusive observation of actual food safety behaviour. Recent projects have focused on older adults' domestic food handling and storage practices associated with the risk of listeriosis; the cognitive risk factors associated with Listeria monocytogenes among pregnant women; and the attitudes and behaviours of caregivers in the preparation and storage of powdered infant formula.

 

Food safety education, communication and training

The research group are interested in the training and education of consumers, food handlers and healthcare professionals. We apply psychological theories to develop and deliver targeted training and education interventions. 

food safety education

Current research includes the development of an assessment tool to evaluate the adequacy of food safety communication in food media sources, and the design, delivery and evaluation of food safety information to chemotherapy patients and their family caregivers in healthcare settings. Given the increased risk of infection to patients during chemotherapy treatment (due to immunosuppression), we have identified a lack of information available to this at-risk group and are working with collaborators and funders to create a food safety strategy for cancer patients.

Food safety communication and outreach is also of great importance. We hold annual events for the general public in conjunction with the Food Standards Agency's Food Safety Week on various aspects of food safety.

 



Group Members

Professor John Holah,
Honorary Professor of
Food Safety
FIC Operations and
Technical Manager
Senior Research Fellow

Lecturer in Food
Science & Technology
Research Associate

 


Collaborators

Internal

The Food Safety Research Group regularly collaborates with internal colleagues from Nutrition and Dietetics, Psychology and the FIC. Frequent contributors to the research team include:

Jackie Evans, Technologist (FIC)

Jamie Old, Marketing Executive (FIC)

Janet Holmes, Technologist (FIC)

Jessica Lacey, Senior Technologist (FIC)

Katie Pressdee, Senior Technologist (FIC)

Leanne Ellis, Marketing and Communications Manager (FIC)

Martin Sutherland, Head of Business and Marketing (FIC)

Ginnie Winter, Technologist (FIC)

Bethan Rowlands, Technologist (FIC)

David Lloyd, FIC Director

David Owens, Research Assistant (FIC)

Denise Parish, Programme Director (Human Nutrition and Dietetics)

Dr Ruth Fairchild, Senior Lecturer (Food Science)

Hilary Wickett, Programme Director (Public Health Nutrition)

 

External

Professor Jane Hopkinson, Cardiff University

Sian Lewis, Velindre Cancer Centre

3M Healthcare Ltd, Bridgend

 

Funding

Tenovus Cancer Care Innovation Grant (2014-2015). "Food safety strategies for cancer patients." Principal Investigator: Dr Ellen Evans, Co-Investigators: Dr Elizabeth Redmond, Simon Dawson and Professor Adrian Peters.

Welsh Government Food Division (2016). "Understanding the barriers to accreditation in the food and drink sector in Wales." Principal Investigator: Helen Taylor, Co-Investigators: Leanne Ellis, Dr Ellen Evans and Jessica Lacey.

RES "Get Started" and "Accelerator Fund" grants (2016). "Feasibility study to assess hand hygiene practices of food handlers in Welsh SMEs." Principal Investigator: Dr Ellen Evans, Co-Investigator: Dr Elizabeth Redmond.

Health Technology Challenge (2016-2017). "Evaluation of the acceptability of tablet-based and paper-based food safety and nutrition interventions for carers of chemotherapy patients." Principal Investigator: Dr Ellen Evans, Co-Investigators: Dr Elizabeth Redmond, Jane Hopkinson (Cardiff University) and Sian Lewis (Velindre Cancer Centre).





Key Publications

Evans EW., Redmond EC. Behavioural risk factors associated with listeriosis in the home: a review of consumer food safety studies. Journal of Food Protection. 2014 Mar; 77 (3): 510-21.

Evans EW., Redmond EC. Analysis of older adults' domestic kitchen storage practices in the United Kingdom: identification of risk factors associated with listeriosis. Journal of Food Protection. 2015 Apr; 78 (4): 738-45.

Evans EW. Older adults' domestic kitchen practices associated with an increased risk of listeriosis. Perspectives in Public Health. 2016 Jul; 136 (4): 199-201.

Redmond EC., Griffith CJ., Riley S. Contamination of bottles used for feeding reconstituted powdered infant formula and implications for public health. Perspectives in Public Health. 2009 Mar; 129 (2): 85-94.