Kaarin Goodburn awarded MBE for services to the food industry (14 June 2008)

Kaarin Goodburn, CFA Secretary General, has been awarded an MBE for services to the food industry in the Queen’s 2008 Birthday Honours List published today.

With a background in biochemistry, applied molecular biology and food science, Kaarin has worked with CFA since its launch in 1989, much of the time as a consultant to the Association. She is responsible for the development of CFA, its policies, activities and relationships with members, Government and the media.

Kaarin is a member of numerous expert working groups and committees in the UK and internationally, and a Board member of a wide range of research projects and organisations.

Commenting on her award Kaarin said: “This award is quite a surprise and a great honour recognising not only my work personally but also the standing and positive contribution of CFA in public life.”

For further information visit www.kaaringoodburn.com. A photograph (JPEG) of Kaarin Goodburn is available on request.

1. Kaarin Goodburn B.Sc. M.Sc is a Chartered Scientist, Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, Member of the International Association for Food Protection, Member of the Society for Applied Microbiology, and Member of Society of Food Hygiene Technology.

2. Membership of Boards and Committees:
2008-present: FAO/WHO Expert Group on Leafy Green Vegetables and Herbs
2006-present: Food Standards Agency VP/MAP Working Group
2006-2007: DEFRA FISS Champions Group on Waste
2006-present: DEFRA Lean Manufacture Project Board
2006-present: DEFRA/Imperial College Waste Arisings PhD Board
2005-2008: LINK/IFR/CFA Pathogen Attachment Project Board
2005-present: Northern Foods Certification Body Governing Board
2004-present: Food Standards Agency Industry Stakeholders Forum
2003-2007: DEFRA Sustainable Food and Farming Research Priorities Group
2002-present: University of Salford HACCP MSc/Diploma Advisory Board
2001-present: Food Industry Panels Group (Sec 2001-3, Chairman 2003-)
1991-present: European Chilled Food Federation
1991-present: BSI Refrigerator Standards Committee
1990-present: UK Microwave Working Party

14 June 2008

CFA welcomes revised FSA advice on re-washing RTE leafy salads (12 March 2008)

CFA welcomes FSA’s recommendation, endorsed by ACMSF at its meeting on 11 March 20081, to change its advice to consumers regarding the rewashing of pre- washed ready to eat (RTE) leafy salads before consumption.

CFA has long argued that advice to consumers to re-wash is unnecessary and introduces the possibility of cross-contamination in the kitchen. Research has also suggested that additional washing of fresh produce provides little additional benefit in reducing contamination2.

Using published data and information provided by CFA, FSA and ACMSF have reviewed the evidence and decided that its advice to consumers may not be appropriate. In coming to its decision the FSA and ACMSF took into account:

• the excellent safety record of RTE leafy salads;
• industry’s implementation of strict controls to assure safety;
• produce safety being primarily assured by using the correct field controls to prevent contamination at source;
• washing mainly removing soil which harbours microorganisms,
• re-washing professionally pre-washed leaf does not remove appreciably more microorganisms.

In their report to the ACMSF, the FSA acknowledged the role of CFA, in particular its Microbiological Guidance for Produce Suppliers to Chilled Food Manufacturers (MGG2) and its Best Practice Guidelines for the Production of Chilled Food, which were developed by CFA in conjunction with retailers, distributors and Government scientists, many of whom are microbiology experts. MGG2 sets out in detail the procedures to be followed to ensure safety and quality and include the introduction of HACCP and risk assessment systems, microbiological assessment of irrigation water, hygiene provision for field workers, hygiene training of harvest staff, hygienic facilities for harvesting, handling, chilling, packaging and distribution, assigning a short shelf life and providing a chilled supply chain to minimise potential for microbiological growth. The Best Practice Guidelines cover intake of raw materials to the production of leafy salads.

In welcoming the decision, Kaarin Goodburn, CFA’s Secretary General said, “We are very pleased that FSA advice is to be changed. Safety is CFA members’ first priority and our members operate to the highest standards as laid down in our Guidelines which are mandatory for all our members. We welcome the change in emphasis in FSA’s approach in recognising the key food safety role of field hygiene to minimise potential for contamination at source. We call on FSA to support the introduction of such standards throughout the fresh produce supply base, including herbs and wholesale.”


1. Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food. 11 March 2008 endorsed FSA recommendation to change its advice advising consumers to re-wash pre-washed RTE leafy salads.

2. Palumbo et al (2007). Recommendations for handling fresh-cut leafy green salads by consumers and retail food service operators. Food Protection Trends Vol 27 No 11. pp 892-898.

12 Mar 2008

ACMSF recommends ‘universal’ adoption of CFA principles (26 September 2008)

CFA welcomes the call by the UK Government’s Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) for ‘universal adoption’ of hazard analysis and HACCP principles set out in CFA’s Best Practice Guidelines for the Production of Chilled Foods (4th ed), and urges their universal enforcement.

ACMSF’s Ad Hoc Group on Vulnerable Groups reported today on evidence relating to the increased incidence of human Listeria monocytogenes infection in the elderly.

ACMSF recognises the efficacy of the professional chilled prepared food manufacturing industry’s measures to minimise Listeria monocytogenes contamination of foods and their clear differentiation from the approaches of other sectors.

CFA’s Guidelines are the only referenced industry document in the report:

Para 5.9 (part): “Chilled ready to eat foods are produced using HACCP principles that aim to identify where the hazard can occur in the manufacturing process and at what steps measures can be put in place to eliminate the hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level (CFA, 2006)”.

Stressing the importance of industry compliance with ‘recognised’ industry standards the report recommends the ‘universal adoption’ of HACCP principles which are enshrined in the CFA guidelines:

Para 5.32 and 6.39: “The principles of food safety management through the application of hazard analysis approaches such as HACCP are well established in the food industry. Universal adoption of these principles by the manufacturing catering and retail industry, together with effective enforcement, are recognised ways of ensuring food safety.”

The report (paras 5.12, 5.17) clearly differentiates between producers of chilled, ready-to-eat food operating to current recognised industry standards and catering and retail outlets that are not necessarily subject to the same controls as those employed by major manufacturing units operating high/low risk principles.

Listeria is minimised by careful selection of high quality raw materials, strict hygiene measures during processing, storage at low temperatures and thorough heating where appropriate. CFA members – professional chilled food manufacturers – take great care to control potential risks from Listeria monocytogenes by following good manufacturing practice at all stages.

The Chilled Food Association’s Best Practice Guidelines for the Production of Chilled Food (2006 4th edition) were developed by the Association in conjunction with retailers, distributors and Government scientists, many of whom are experts in the control of Listeria monocytogenes. The Guidelines set out in detail the procedures to be followed to ensure the safety and quality of the finished product. Compliance with the Guidelines is mandatory for all CFA Members.

26 September 2008