By Allergen Bureau

Sarah Proctor, Lion Dairy & Drinks, and Woolworths New Zealand 2019 winners of AIFST and NZIFST Allergen Bureau Awards for best practice food allergen management.

The Allergen Bureau is delighted to announce this year’s winners of the AIFST and NZIFST Allergen Bureau Awards for best practice food allergen management.

Sarah Proctor, Food Safety Coordinator Lion Dairy & Drinks, was selected as the winner of the 2019 AIFST Allergen Bureau ‘Julie Newlands Award’. The award was presented to Sarah by Jasmine Lacis-Lee (Allergen Bureau Director and DTS Food Assurance) at the 2019 AIFST Convention, Sydney.

Winning this award means a great deal to the team at Lion Dairy and Drinks”, said Sarah. “It really is rewarding to be recognised for identifying and implementing best practice in informing and protecting food allergic consumers”.

“Lion Dairy and Drinks have committed to always place customer at the heart, and to do the right thing. Once the decision to introduce new products containing allergens had been made, allergen management was prioritised by all areas of the business – from product and label design, throughout trialling, product development and staff communication, new product launch and then into ongoing production”, added Sarah.

Sarah receives a complimentary registration to attend the IUFoST 20th World Congress of Food Science and Technology, New Zealand International Convention Centre, Auckland

16-20 August 2020, including a return economy airfare and four nights’ accommodation in Auckland. Sarah stated “We are always seeking to learn and improve our food safety understanding and quality systems; the award prize of travel to IUFoST 2020 in New Zealand will be a fantastic opportunity to develop the site’s understanding of the latest innovations in food science and technology, and we would like to thank AIFST and the Allergen Bureau for this opportunity.”

The winner of the 2019 NZIFST Allergen Bureau Award was Woolworths New Zealand. Sue Wheeler, Category Quality Manager – Food NZ, on behalf of Woolworths New Zealand accepted the award from award Chair Debbie Hawkes (Allergen Bureau Director and Hawkins Watts) at the NZIFST Conference 2019, Christchurch, New Zealand.

In accepting the award, Sue noted that ‘Food safety is our top priority and particularly when it comes to potential allergens. We are delighted to have been recognised for our efforts and it truly represents the diligence and commitment of our whole team. We’d like to also acknowledge our suppliers who we work closely with to provide our Countdown products.”

Woolworths New Zealand receives a complimentary registration to attend the

2020 AIFST Convention, Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne 6-7 July 2020, including a return economy airfare and three nights’ accommodation in Melbourne.

Award nominations were evaluated by each selection committee based on their contribution to a consistent, science-based approach to food allergen risk assessment, management and communication that guides industry best practice and assists allergen sensitive consumers to make informed choices based on label information in Australia and New Zealand, respectively.

The Allergen Bureau wish to recognise all of the award applicants and acknowledge the effort that was required to submit your nominations.

We thank our award selection committees of

  • Australia – Kirsten Grinter, Allergen Bureau and Nestlé Australia (Chair); Vanita Smith, Merieux Nutrisciences; and Dr Simon Brooke-Taylor, Allergen Bureau and Brooke-Taylor & Co
  • New Zealand – Debbie Hawkes, Allergen Bureau Director and Hawkins Watts (Chair); Penny Jorgenson, Allergy New Zealand; and Vanessa Coull, Ministry for Primary Industries and New Zealand Institute of Environmental Health

The Australian award is named in honour of Julie Newlands, inaugural Director and the first Honorary Treasurer of the Allergen Bureau Ltd., who sadly passed away in November 2017. The Allergen Bureau wishes to thank the Newlands family for kindly allowing us to name this award in Julie’s memory.