The Food Safety Information Council is a health promotion charity and a national voice for science-based, consumer-focused food safety information in Australia. We aim to address the estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia that result in 31,920 hospitalisations, 86 deaths and 1 million visits to doctors on average every year by providing simple, easy to follow consumer information on the handling, storage and preparation of food. The Council was founded in 1997 as the Food Safety Campaign Group and incorporated in 2001 as the Food Safety Information Council. We are a health promotion charity ACN 614 547 241 and a company partially limited by guarantee ABN 58008715647.
Australian Food Safety Week each November is a major part of the Council’s campaign to pass on simple messages to improve consumer’s knowledge of how to handle, store and cook food safely.
Council members include representatives of state, territory and local government and food safety agencies, the food industry, community groups and professional associations.
Rachelle Williams – Chair
Rachelle has been running her own business as a food safety and sustainability coach for more than 15 years, and has been a proud individual member of FSIC for more than ten years. She has a B.App.Sc. (Food Technology), Grad. Dip. (Business Management), Diploma of Sustainability, Cert. IV (Training and Assessment), Cert. IV (Business Sustainability Assessment), C.Dec., FAOQ She is a Professional Member of AIFST Inc, a member of the Food Industries Association of Qld., Australian Association of Food Protection, Food Safety Centre, International Society of Sustainability Professionals, Association of Sustainability in Business and an Associate of National Speakers Association of Australia. Rachelle was elected Chair in May 2015. The previous Chair was Professor Michael Eyles.
Cathy Moir – Vice Chair and Public Officer
Cathy is a food microbiologist and team leader at the CSIRO Animal, Food and Health Sciences Division. Through her various roles at CSIRO and Food Science Australia, Cathy has developed extensive knowledge of and expertise in the microbiology of a wide range of foods and food processes. She provides assistance and advice as part of CSIRO’s industry services and liaison activities and assists industry and government with matters relating to hazard identification, risk assessment and the microbiological safety of food. She is also actively involved with the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology.
Lydia Buchtmann – Communications Director
Lydia Buchtmann is a Canberra based communications consultant. She was a founding member of the Food Safety Information Council and has been involved in its communication work since 1997. She headed the Communication and Stakeholder Engagement section of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) from 1997 to 2010 and was their representative on the FSIC Executive during that period. Lydia has over 30 years experience heading communications sections in Federal Government agencies. She has a Masters in Communication (by research) from the University of Canberra 2001 and a BA (Hons) in Anthropology from the ANU 1984. She is a member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia and a life member of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance.
Gavin Buckett – Membership Director
Gavin Buckett is a multi award winning Qualified Chef, with Tertiary Qualifications in Food Technology and Confectionery Manufacture, who started his own specialised food safety business that is now called the “The Gourmet Guardian”. Founded in 2003, The Gourmet Guardian is a specialist provider to the Food and Beverage industry including restaurants, café’s, catering companies, major sporting venues, private resorts, hotels, hospitals, aged care, manufacturers and distributors.
Gavin has vast food industry experience that includes 15 years as a Qualified Chef. His current responsibilities include managing a company that delivers Food Safety Training, develops and implements Food Safety Programs (including HACCP, BRC, WQAS and Spotless Certified Programs) and conducts regulatory and internal food safety audits to more than 200 different food businesses.
In addition to the Food Safety Information Council, Gavin and/ or The Gourmet Guardian are members of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST), the Allergen Bureau; Exemplar Global NFSA Level 4 High Risk Auditor and the Café Owners and Baristas Association (COBAA). Gavin is a regulatory approved Food Safety Auditor with Queensland Health, New South Wales Food Authority, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services. Gavin is also the Principal of a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) called Prime Skills Pty Ltd that specialises in delivering food safety training.
Deb Kerr – Secretary
Deb Kerr joined Australian Pork Limited (APL) as the General Manager Policy in January 2014. APL’s Policy Division is unique amongst the rural research and development corporations (RRDCs). The Division is responsible for the Australian pork industry’s national representation across all jurisdictional levels. The Division undertakes policy related research projects, strategic policy development, advocacy, and government relations on a range of policy issues affecting the Australian pork industry. In addition, the Division is responsible for issues management, and the management of corporate traditional and social media functions.
Before joining APL, Deb held a number of representative roles with across national and sectoral agriculture focussing on natural resources. Prior to this, Deb was involved with a large farming operation in the Riverina for 17 years. Deb has a Bachelor of Management (USyd), is a graduate of two Australian Rural Leadership programs, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Dr Duncan Craig – Membership Chair
Dr Duncan Craig is Principal Scientist, Imported Food, Compliance Division, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. Prior to this he worked at Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) since 2003 and was Principal Microbiologist and Manager of the Risk Assessment Microbiology Section from 2009 to 2016. He has delivered a number of international training courses on microbiological risk assessment and undertaken consultations for the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization. He has qualifications and experience in the field of environmental health. He obtained his PhD from Flinders University, with research in the area of water microbiology and risk assessment.
Dean McCullum – SA Health
Dr Trish Desmarchelier – Technical Chair
Dr Trish Desmarchelier has considerable experience in the food safety area working at the interface between science and public health. Trish has worked in academia and CSIRO and is currently a consultant in food safety in her own business, Food Safety Principles. She serves on various advisory groups and consults to both industry and food safety agencies, both national and international. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST) and the Australian Society of Microbiology and a member of the International Association for Food Protection and its Australian Affiliate. She has received the AIFST President’s award, the IAFP International leadership Award and the Australian HACCP award (non-industry) for her contribution to food safety research and management. She has been a member of the Council since 2011.
Karen Ferres, Manager – Food Safety & Audit, SA Health
Lydia Buchtmann – Chair
Lorrainne Haase – Food Standards Australian New Zealand
Rebecca Bowmann – NSW Food Authority
Emma Butler Cater Care
Kate Laidley Safe Food Queensland
Jane Rowlands – Dairy Food Safety Victoria
Tracy Ward – NT Department of Health