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Tasmania is first choice in food safety for global company

The Food Safety Centre within the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) has been recognised as a world-leader in food safety research, teaching and training by a multinational company seeking expert training for its staff and customers.

Global company 3M Asia Pacific Pty Ltd selected TIA as its first choice to deliver a professional development training workshop in food safety to 35 of its staff and customers from across Asia involved in meat-processing businesses.

The workshop delegates have travelled from Japan, South Korea, China, Thailand and Malaysia to attend the two-day workshop in Hobart this week, which is focusing on meat and poultry food safety and shelf-life.

TIA Food Safety Centre Associate Professor in Food Microbiology Tom Ross, an internationally recognised expert in the microbial ecology of meats and predictive microbiology, was contacted by 3M to deliver a workshop on processing technologies, pathogen control in meat, shelf-life and spoilage, products testing and management of factory environments.

“The workshop has drawn on the expertise of several members of the Food Safety Centre who have significant experience and expertise in the microbial ecology of meat and associated factory epidemiology,” Associate Professor Ross said.

“The Food Safety Centre is nationally and internationally recognised for research, teaching and training programs that encompass strategic science associated with food production systems, the supply chain, food safety, risk assessment, and systems biology of food-borne pathogens and spoilage microorganisms.

“In particular, the food microbiology group has a long history in research concerning the microbiology of meat, including understanding the behaviour and risks from pathogens and food spoilage organisms.

“The centre has an international reputation for leadership in modelling the ecology of bacteria in foods, a discipline termed ‘predictive microbiology’ and is producing insights about bacterial mechanisms that influence food stability,” Associate Professor Ross said.

“These findings include understanding the molecular mechanisms that cause food-borne bacteria to persist in food production environments, potentially leading to ‘smart’ processing methods to maximise food safety and quality.”

The Food Safety Centre team delivering the workshop includes:

  • Dr Lyndal Mellefont, who has significant experience with challenge studies in ready-to-eat foods, including processed meats;
  • Dr Mandeep Kaur, whose research focusses on characterisation of microbial spoilage organisms and processes on vacuum packaged primal cuts;
  • Dr Jay Kocharunchitt, who has significant experience in the development of novel intervention strategies to reduce pathogen loads on beef carcasses and is the author of reviews on microbial intervention strategies;
  • Associate Professor John Bowman, who will speak about persistent/sporadic pathogenic factory contaminants and associated molecular techniques to understand why pathogens persist in food production environments.

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