Microbiology agar plates 18 August 2020 Press Release

Campden BRI to cover COVID-19 in annual microbiology conference

As COVID-19 continues to impact the food and drink sector, Campden BRI will hold a three-day online conference to help the industry understand how to control SARS-CoV-2 as well as other pathogens including Campylobacter and Listeria.

The online conference, to be held from 6–8 October, will cover the current and future microbiology issues affecting the safe production of food with experts in the food and drink industry.

Campden BRI’s Fiona Cawkell, manager of the Campden Microbiology Proficiency Scheme, said:

“The virus that causes COVID-19 has created the largest pandemic of our lifetime and it’s playing a pivotal role in many food and drink businesses’ decision making. This makes our annual ‘hot topics’ in food microbiology conference possibly the most important to date, which is why we’ve brought together expert speakers to discuss how food business operators can guard against it.”

Vikan’s global hygiene specialist Debra Smith will tell delegates all they need to know about the impact of COVID-19 on cleaning and disinfection. From this, attendees can expect to build an understanding of how to guard their factories against a COVID-19 outbreak to keep their workforce safe and help reduce the economic burden that it presents.

Cawkell continued:

“Of course, the usual suspects that cause foodborne illness, including Campylobacter and Listeria, remain a public health concern. Experts from across Europe will discuss the issues they cause and take questions from delegates to help them tackle the threats these pathogens pose.”

Professor Mieke Uttendaele from the University of Ghent will explore why the food industry just can’t get rid of Listeria monocytogenes. The focus will shift to Campylobacter with the University of Wageningen’s Dr Maren Lanzl as she explores the challenges of Campylobacter’s detection, while Dr Nigel Cook will cover how to rapidly screen poultry samples for this microorganism (without enrichment). Campden BRI’s virologist Martin D’Agostino, who has presented several webinars to international audiences to the food industry over the past few months, will discuss foodborne viruses in the food industry.

These talks, alongside Dr Tim Sandle’s presentation on the ‘Microbiology aspects of cleaning validation’, will provide delegates with a greater understanding of how to safeguard their factory and workforce from both current and future microbiological threats.

The conference is most suited to food and drink laboratory personnel, microbiologists and technical managers, food manufacturers, quality assurance (QA) staff and food safety managers.

For further information contact:

Fiona Cawkell
+44(0)1386 842142

About Fiona Cawkell

Fiona Cawkell has worked for Campden BRI since 1988 having been employed previously in the food industry as a microbiology laboratory manager.

She began her career at Campden in Microbiology Analytical Services as supervisor overseeing contract work before becoming co-founder of Campden Microbiology Proficiency Scheme (CMPS) in 1993. As manager, Fiona and her team have been proactive in developing CMPS to fit the ever demanding requirements of microbiology testing laboratories.

Fiona is also event director for all training in microbiology which includes scheduled training, bespoke training, conferences and seminars.

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