Our Board

Our Allergen Bureau Board of Directors provide voluntary, unpaid services to the Allergen Bureau and we gratefully acknowledge the generous support they receive from their employer companies in this capacity.

Kirsten has worked in several different capacities across her career, R&D, Manufacturing, Research, Regulatory and Nutrition. Her current role is Regulatory, Scientific Affairs & Nutrition Manager for Nestlé Oceania.

Kirsten has been involved with the Allergen Bureau at its inception in 2005 and is passionate about delivering industry allergen management initiatives. As President of the Allergen Bureau, Kirsten is instrumental in driving international acceptance of the VITAL risk based program, through the work of the VITAL Scientific Expert Panel.

Kirsten considers that working collaboratively with industry stakeholders, consumer groups and Government to be key for the industry to remain competitive and successful globally.

With extensive experience working in Dairy (Unilever, Streets Ice Cream Division), Fats and Oils (Goodman Fielder, Meadow Lea Foods) and Cereals and Snacks (Uncle Toby’s) industries both in Australia and New Zealand. Kirsten’s experience with allergen issues from manufacturing, regulation and through to contact with consumer groups, gives her a unique perspective with regard to the needs of the food industry and the allergic community and the complexities of best practice allergen management.

Kirsten represents Nestlé on the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s (AFGC) Health Nutrition and Scientific Affairs Committee and takes part in many AFGC food industry working groups to drive solutions in the pre-competitive industry arena.

Kirsten has been involved with the Allergen Forum at its inception and has retained a significant interest in driving through industry allergen initiatives. Kirsten was the chairperson of the Allergen Labelling project team, initiated in 2004 which surveyed the food industry approach to allergen labelling and used this information to develop an industry allergen labelling strategy. A consistent effort by industry will result in product labels that are easier to read as well as to identify the allergen information required by the allergic consumers.

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Caroline holds the position of Regulatory Affairs Manager ANZ for IFF. Caroline’s affinity for the food industry began in dairy quite some years ago in a role with the small but thriving Tatua Dairy Cooperative in Morrinsville. Following that, moving to Auckland, Caroline took up a role with the Danish food ingredients company Danisco Ltd which was acquired by DuPont Ltd in 2011, and subsequently by IFF, her current employer.  Caroline has held positions in Technical Marketing, Quality, Product Services, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs, all of which have touched the sensitive realms of allergen management in its various forms.

 In the early days of the Allergen Forum, Caroline participated in VITAL and PIF Working Groups and later moved into the Allergen Bureau Allergen Exemption working group to help secure the 2016 change to STD 1.2.3 of the ANZ Food Standard Code.

Caroline brings a global ingredient manufacturers perspective to the Allergen Bureau Board.  She Chairs the DuPont Allergen Network delivering a globally coordinated approach to allergen management in a complex manufacturing environment. 

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With a Food Technology degree from Massey University and over 30 years working in the Food Industry, Debbie has had various NZ based roles covering Product Development, Quality, Purchasing and Operations for Tip Top Ice Cream, Tasti and Danisco / Dupont. These roles have included responsibilities in ANZ, ASPAC regional and global markets.

Debbie is currently working for Hawkins Watts, who represent many of the world’s leading ingredient companies with a broad product portfolio specialising in Hydrocolloids, Colours, Flavours, Emulsifiers, Fortificants and more. Starting out in an Operations and Quality role at Hawkins Watts leading their BRC Food Safety certification journey, Debbie recently moved to an IT Systems & Process role, to focus on developing smarter systems which support the Food Safety, Quality and Operational requirements of providing ANZ food manufacturers with a complex variety of food ingredients.

Debbie has had a long involvement with the Allergen Bureau, both through her previous work at founding member company Danisco / Dupont and currently with Hawkins Watts. Debbie is proud to be involved with the first Allergen Bureau Industry pilot working group in 2006, when the “VITAL” name was first suggested, and then applied her Excel skills to transform the VITAL process into the very first version of the VITAL calculator. (Though the Online VITAL calculator has been significantly improved by many others since then). The achievements of the core Allergen Bureau team over the last decade, are the incentive for Debbie to continue to be involved and further progress this very valuable work.

Debbie was a member of the VITAL Phase 2: Risk Communication (Labelling) Working Group which produced the VITAL® Best Practise Labelling Guide for Australia & New Zealand.

Debbie is a Fellow of NZIFST.

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Jasmine Lacis-Lee, proud Queenslander and Australian born Latvian is a specialist in food safety management within the Australian food manufacturing industry. Jasmine has a Bachelor of Science, with more than 20 years’ experience as a food microbiologist and over 15 years’ experience working in the food & beverage industries. Having worked for Parmalat & Coca Cola Amatil, she has experience managing manufacturing food safety quality systems, and has been responsible for overseeing a NATA accredited laboratory. She currently holds professional memberships with the ASM (Australian Society of Microbiology), AIFST (Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology), and EHEDG (European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group).

As the Honorary and Company Secretary of the Allergen Bureau, Jasmine was appointed a Board Director in 2018, and is also proud to be the founding Co-chair and a Board Director for Australian Regional division of the EHEDG.

Jasmine joined BVAQ based in QLD in July 2015 and in her role regularly consults both Nationally and Internationally with a variety of organisations from large global food and beverage manufacturers, regulatory authorities, through to single hospital and hotel kitchens, where she provides strategies for managing microbiological and allergen risks; provides support with equipment installation and validations; as well developing customised training covering microbiology, allergens and food safety risks. Jasmine is also responsible for delivering Allergen Bureau endorsed VITAL® training.

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David has over 30 years experience in the food industry including senior roles in Research and Development, quality assurance, production management and food regulation within the areas of cheese processing, meat and smallgoods production, dry mixing, baking and confectionery.

David has been involved in quality assurance and food safety systems in a wide variety of businesses, from SME’s to large corporations through to the retailing of fresh foods and packaged goods and has been a member of many industry working groups on food safety and related matters, assisting industry and government in a number of food/allergen product issues, including recall management.

David has been a member of the Allergen Bureau’s Management Committee prior to its incorporation and continues to play an active role in the globalisation of VITAL.

David holds a Masters of Applied Science (Food Science and Nutrition) from UWS.