The Food Safety Information Council aims to reduce the number of Australians getting sick from food poisoning 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.
The Australian Health Department estimates 4.1 million Australians get sick annually from eating food contaminated with bacteria or viruses. This figure is outrageously high considering Australia has one of the safest food supplies in the world due to effective working partnerships between food manufacturers, food handlers, retailers and government regulators.
A good proportion of this figure is due to us, consumers, who mistreat or mishandle food. Often we do this because of lack of information – that’s the gap the Council wants to fill.
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 seven 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 25 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.
Kelvin Genn – Risk and Policy Director and Secretary
Kelvin currently holds a board position with the Cater Care Group as the Director of Risk and Service Delivery Support, Board Member for the Food Safety Information Council, and Board Member for Art of Work. He is also am a committee member with the Safety Institute of Australia. Most recently he was working for Sinclair Knight Merz as the Global General Manager for Safety and Wellness to deliver an international leading program for health safety environment and community (HSEC) in the engineering and project management business.
He has worked with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care to develop the national accreditation system for all health care providers across Australia. He has also worked with the UK National Health Service Institute for Innovation and Improvement to deliver the Productive Leader and Productive Ward programs in Australia and New Zealand.
Formerly he was the Director of Clinical Quality and Safety for NSW Health, responsible for leading the development and implementation of the state-wide clinical quality and patient safety framework standards guidelines, and indicators to improve clinical health care safety and quality for patients of NSW the public health system where he was responsible for shaping the state and national agendas for clinical health care safety and quality through provision of expert advice to the NSW Health Management Board and the NSW Minister of Health; and by representing the views and interests of NSW Health in state and national forums.
Dr Duncan Craig – Planning Chair
Dr Duncan Craig currently works for the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. Previously he was Principal Microbiologist Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). He joined FSANZ in 2003 and was Principal Microbiologist and Manager of the Risk Assessment Microbiology Section from 2009 to 2016. He lead a team of scientific staff that undertake microbiological risk assessments to inform development of national food standards. This included the completion of complex through-chain risk assessments for the dairy, poultry, egg, meat and seafood industries. Dr Craig also provided expert advice for the coordination of national food incidents, imported food and surveillance activities. 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, representing the AIFST.
Lydia Buchtmann – Chair
Lorrainne Haase – Food Standards Australian New Zealand
Rebecca Bowmann – NSW Food Authority
Kate Laidley Safe Food Queensland
Jane Rowlands – Dairy Food Safety Victoria
Tracy Ward – NT Department of Health