Food Safety Innovation Conference 2023 - Inaugural Event Receives Glowing Reviews

Held at the University of Lincoln on Tuesday 5th September, the Food Safety Innovation Conference 2023 brought together over 150 industry professionals – unified in their determination to advance food safety and hygiene, challenge the status quo, and shine a light on true innovation.

The product of months of careful planning, the conference was a collaborative effort from Klipspringer and FoodClean, with both companies determined to have a positive impact on the food industry and those working within it.  

Opening Remarks

After starting off the morning with hot drinks and a selection of pastries, attendees were welcomed to the conference by Alec Kyriakides (chair of the event), Alex Carlyon (Director at Klipspringer) and Dan Turner (Director at FoodClean).  

Drawing on his experience working as the former Head of Technical Operations at Sainsbury’s, Alec delivered an inspiring presentation on Food Safety: past, present and future – covering everything from the events that have shaped our food safety regulations to the potential risks and opportunities we face moving forward.

The Presentations

Attendees were then treated to a series of presentations from five of the leading voices in the food industry:

Nikos Manouselis, Co-Founder and CEO of Agroknow, discussed Innovation in Food Safety Management, offering fascinating insights on the role of AI technology. 

Katie Satterthwaite, Factory Standards Manager for Marks and Spencer, made a compelling case for Innovation in Hygienic Design, raising awareness of the GFSI scopes JI and JII. 

Dave Duncalf, Head of Chemical Technology at FoodClean, delivered a brilliant presentation on Innovation in Cleaning Automation and Robotics, paying particular attention to the ‘Sinner’s Circle’. 

John Michael Piggot, EU Head of Food Safety at Amazon, discussed Innovation in Analytical Assurance, outlining the pros and cons of different analytical techniques in terms of food quality control and safety.

Finally, Denis Treacy, Former Chief Officer for Safety & Quality at Pladis Global, delivered a passionate presentation on Innovation in Professional Development – empowering attendees to energise their influence on a strategic level. 

The Workshops

Following on from a morning break filled with canapés and a performance from the Klipspringer band, attendees sat down for their choice of two out of four available workshops. 

Led by speaker Katie Satterthwaite and Phil May, Group Hygiene Manager for Greencore, Workshop One encouraged its participants to take a closer look at Equipment Design and Cleaning. Phil and Katie shared their secrets to achieving an effective clean and even brought along equipment to illustrate their point.  

Running alongside this discussion was Workshop Two, led by speaker Nikos Manouselis. This session built on his earlier talk on Innovation in Food Safety Management, offering a deep dive into the world of Predictive Analytics.  

After a short break, Workshops Three and Four were underway. The former offered an in-depth look at Analytical Assurance, more specifically the testing process for allergens and microorganisms. This session was headed up by Marissa Schwoch, Microbiologist and Auditor at Food Microbiology Solutions Ltd and former Group Food Safety Manager for Arla Foods.  

Workshop Four was all about Food Safety Management Systems. In this session Richa Bedi-Navik, Senior Global Standards Manager for BRCGS and Helen Taylor, Technical Director at the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre, worked through the intricacies of BRCGS Version 9.  

The Panel

Acting as a fantastic networking opportunity, the buffet lunch allowed everyone at the conference to establish new connections and discuss their biggest takeaways from the morning. It was also the perfect time to submit questions via the FSI app in preparation for the afternoon’s panel session.  

The panel was made up of speakers Katie Satterthwaite, Denis Treacy, and John Michael Piggot. Workshop host Phil May and Kelsey McEvoy, Global Quality Systems Manager for the Kerry Group, were also valued panel members.

After being inundated with questions, the panel worked hard to answer as many as possible. Some of the questions raised included:

  • What is your top food safety concern and what is your advice on addressing it?
  • How does a business maintain a consistent level of quality or food safety performance when the workforce is often made up of transient agency staff?
  • The area of genomics is rapidly moving, is the industry moving at a fast enough pace to keep up with it?
  • Biofilms have received significant attention in recent months and years. What’s their risk and how are they best managed?
  • What are the most effective methods for removing allergens and validating allergen cleans?

Closing words

Once the panel session had wrapped up, it was time for Alec to close the conference – thanking Klipspringer and FoodClean for arranging the event, thanking the speakers and workshop hosts for their invaluable contributions, and thanking the attendees for their unwavering enthusiasm.

The day also ended with the promise of more to come, with the countdown already on for the Food Safety Conference 2024! 

Feedback from the 2023 event

I loved connecting with so many people and took away some great nuggets to think about. Thanks to all the speakers and looking forward to the Food Safety Innovation Conference 2024”.  

Katie Satterthwaite, Factory Standards Manager at Marks and Spencer 

“The FSI Conference had such informative and thought-provoking content delivered by a fabulous line up of presenters via a great mix of formats that made it all so easy to engage with. There was a real buzz throughout the day.” 

Alec Kyriakides, former Head of Technical Operations at Sainsbury’s 

“Not only was this the first FSI conference, but it was also the first event of this kind I’ve personally had the opportunity to attend. The industry experts invited to present during the day were excellent.” 

Jade Mayhew, Retail Distribution Compliance Lead at Gist 

“Absolutely incredible day! Brilliant people, fascinating insights from all over the industry, and even an uber-talented Klipspringer band!”  

Phil May, Group Hygiene Manager, Greencore   

“Thank you to all the brilliant presenters, along with the teams at FoodClean and Klipspringer. I found the day very informative, and it was great to catch up and talk hygiene and technical with peers and ex colleagues. I must also add that the hospitality was fabulous.” 

Hemant Chhiber, Experienced Interim Hygiene Manager  

“The FSI Conference is the new benchmark in food safety innovation networking. A collaborative, workshop based, disruption forum lead by genuine industry experts who have hundreds of years of collective experience working directly in the global food supply chain. If you can only get to one forum in 2024, then choose well, or you will probably have your food safety agenda set by your auditors as usual. Gain a competitive advantage in food safety, don’t dither, get to the FSI. 

Denis Treacy, Former Chief Officer for Safety and Quality at Pladis Global 

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