External Events

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Chair: Debra Smith, Global Hygiene Specialist, Vikan

Debra Smith is a Fellow of IFST with over 35 years of food safety/research training and experience. She has previously worked for DEFRA (Food Safety Division) and CampdenBRI (Food Hygiene Research Manager), and is now the Global Hygiene Specialist at Vikan, providing food safety advice and training to the food industry. Debra is a qualified Microbiologist and Food Scientist, and regularly presents her work at national and international food safety events. She is also an active Committee Member of the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG), current Chair of the Campden BRI Microbiology Member Interest Group (MIG), a newly appointed Director at the The Society Of Food Hygiene & Technology (SoFHT), and sits on the IFST Scientific Committee.

Speaker: Eric Partington, Consultant Metallurgist, the Nickel Institute

Eric is a Metallurgist and a European Consultant to the Nickel Institute, specialising in the application of stainless steels in the food and beverage industry. He has presented and published extensively on EU food safety legislation, the selection of food contact materials and the hygienic design of food-processing equipment in the UK, Europe and Asia. Eric chairs the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group's (EHEDG) Technical Working Group which produced Guideline Document No. 32: Materials of Construction for Equipment in Contact with Food and he is Chairman of the Regional Section of EHEDG which serves the UK & Ireland.

John Holah, Principal Corporate Scientist, Kersia Group

From January 2021, John became the Principal Corporate Scientist: Food Safety and Public Health for the Kersia Group, having been the Technical Director at Holchem Laboratories Ltd prior to the acquisition of Holchem by Kersia.  Prior to this John spent most of his working life at Campden BRI where he was Head of Food Hygiene, for more than 20 years. 
John is also an Honorary Professor in Food Safety and Hygienic Design at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
He has supported the works of the European Hygienic Engineering Design Group (EHEDG), International Association of Food Protection (IAFP) and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) for many years, has chaired various ISO and CEN committees on hygienic design and chemical disinfection and sits on government committees on food safety and hospital acquired infections.

Nigel Blitz, Food Safety Systems Specialist, Campden BRI

Nigel joined Campden BRI as a food management systems specialist in 2019, following more than 20 years of experience as food, hygiene, and quality manager across a broad range of food and beverage manufacturing environments.
Nigel helps the industry by providing consultancy in environmental monitoring, internal factory design (to ensure it complies with BRCGS) and other factory hygiene-related issues. In addition, Nigel teaches food technology and microbiology courses and helps update guidance on the cleaning and disinfection of food factories. I am currently the Secretary of the UKIE Committee of EHEDG.