The microbiology of Christmas online seminar

The microbiology of Christmas online seminar

11 November 2021

Member: £70 + VAT / Non-member: £100 + VAT

Group discounts available on request. Contact Training

Online event


Christmas is a time when many foods are bought and stored for potentially long periods of time. This can lead to microbiological challenges both from a spoilage and food safety point of view. This seminar sets out to inform and explore the challenges associated with Christmas related foods.

Who should attend

Food and beverage laboratory personnel, microbiologists and technical managers, food manufacturers, quality assurance (QA) staff and food safety managers.

Event Director

Fiona Cawkell

Provisional programme

Time Presentation
10:00 Welcome and Chairman's introduction
Dr Phil Voysey, Campden BRI
10:10-10:50 The microbiological safety of plant-based meat alternative foods
Dr Suzanne Jordan, Campden BRI
10:50-11:05 Comfort break / 2 minute silence
11:05-11:45 Prawns and seafood
Dr Mags Crumlish, University of Stirling
11:50-12:30 Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
Dr Greg Rachon, Campden BRI
12:30-13:10 Lunch
13:10-13:20 Welcome back
Dr Phil Voysey, Campden BRI
13:20-14:00 Christmas poultry
Dr Gary McMahon, Moy Park
14:05-14:45 Christmas pudding and cakes
Dr Phil Voysey, Campden BRI
14:45-14:55 Comfort break
14:55-15:35 The Hepititis A outbreak in dates in the UK
Martin D’Agostino, Campden BRI
15:40-16:20 How Christmas affects major food retailers from a food safety point of view
Awaiting speaker confirmation


  • Phil Voysey, Campden BRI
    Phil Voysey is an experienced, well-respected food microbiologist with ‘all round’ knowledge and ability in food manufacturing and research environments. Phil studied Microbiology at the University of Surrey, Guildford and achieved his doctorate at the University of Bristol, Department of Biochemistry with his thesis entitled: ‘Studies on the growth of the Chemoautotroph Nitrosomonas europaea.’

    For 8 years Phil was a Research/Senior Microbiologist at the Flour Milling and Baking Research Association (FMBRA), and for a further 3 years the Group Microbiology Laboratory Manager at Northern Foods, Nottingham.

    Currently Phil is a Section Manager in the Microbiology Department at Campden BRI (Chipping Campden) and his Section’s duties include organising and running microbiology training courses and the Campden Microbiology Proficiency Scheme. Speciality areas of microbiology include: Listeria; Yeasts; Moulds; Microbiological Risk Assessment; Microbiological Criteria; and Cereals and Milling Microbiology. Phil has written numerous papers and contributed towards a variety of articles and publications and been invited to present at many International conferences.
  • Suzanne Jordan, Campden BRI
    Dr Suzanne Jordan joined Campden BRI as Molecular Methods Manager in 2005 following nine years research experience in molecular biology of food microorganisms. Suzanne is involved in several research and contract projects developing and evaluating new methodology as well as lecturing on a range of in house and custom microbiology courses. Project work she has undertaken includes the detection of shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC) in sprouted seeds and red meat, the detection of Listeria spp on surfaces and pathogen typing. In addition to research work, Suzanne provides consultancy in molecular based detection, identification and tracking methods to the food and allied industries. More recently Suzanne has become a member of the ISO working group for the detection of Clostridium botulinum toxin in foods.

    Following a Food Science degree, Suzanne completed a PhD at the University of Nottingham in the Food Microbiology group. During her career to date she has participated in multidisciplinary research projects involving European partners and developed expertise in a range of molecular techniques relevant to the food industry at the University of Leicester. Suzanne has presented her research at national and international level as well as in peer reviewed journals.
  • Greg Rachon, Campden BRI
    Grzegorz Rachon was awarded Masters Degree in Food Technology and Nutrition at the University of Life Sciences in Lublin (Poland) in 1998. 20 years later he becomes Doctor of Agriculture and Food, completing the AFTP (Advanced Food Training Partnership) at the University of Reading and the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom).

    Grzegorz has over 15 years of industry experience in Food, Drink and Pharmaceutical microbiology working for Leatherhead Food Research, Nelsons Natural World and Thermo Fisher Scientific - Oxoid. Currently, he is employed by Campden BRI in the Brewing Division at Nutfield site as a Section Lead of Brewing Microbiology Research and he is responsible for hygiene auditing, process validation trials and stability of traditional (beer, cider) and novel beverages like Kombucha, water kefir.
  • Martin D'Agostino, Campden BRI
    Martin D’Agostino joined Campden BRI in May 2016 as a food virologist after having worked at the Food and Environment Research Agency (DEFRA) since 1994. His microbiological career began with Kennerty Farm Dairies in Aberdeen (now Robert Wisemans) as a laboratory assistant, monitoring the microbiological quality of milk and milk products until he joined what was the Torry Food Science Laboratory (Central Science Laboratory, MAFF) in 1994 (now named Fera Science Limited).

    During this time he has been involved various projects funded by the UK FSA and EU Framework 5, 6 and 7 projects across many areas including Food PCR (FP5), Surveillance of Adenovirus and Norovirus in European Bathing waters (FP6) and was assistant coordinator of the FP7 project entitled “Integrated monitoring and Control of Foodborne Viruses in European Food Supply Chains”. Martin has experience of chairing and presenting scientific talks at national and international scientific meetings and has been author in over 30 publications including journal manuscripts, several reviews and book chapters related to the detection and implementation of rapid methods for foodborne and environmental human pathogens as well as being an editor for an Academic Press book on “Molecular Microbial Diagnostic Methods”.

    He is currently undertaking a part–time PhD at the University of Liverpool with the subject “Investigation of the Contribution of Fresh Produce to the Norovirus Burden”

Please note that copies of the presentations will not be available on the day but will be emailed within a few days of the event as an electronic download in PDF format.

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