By Allergen Bureau

Sue Wilkinson, Robern Menz, inaugural AIFST Allergen Bureau ‘Julie Newlands Award’ winner

The Allergen Bureau is delighted to announce that Sue Wilkinson, Robern Menz, was selected as the winner of the 2018 AIFST Allergen Bureau ‘Julie Newlands Award’ for best practice food allergen management in Australia.

The award was presented to Sue by award judge Deon Mahoney (Chief Scientist, Dairy Food Safety Victoria) at the AIFST Convention 2018, Melbourne, Australia.

Award nominations were evaluated by the 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.

The award selection committee considered that Sue Wilkinson’s nomination stood out by:

  • Demonstrating a strong risk-based approach to allergen management;
  • Practices including competency training; gated processes; and allergen assessment and screening of raw materials; and
  • A commitment to not support generic allergen cross-contact statements and to use the Allergen Bureau VITAL Program for allergen risk assessment.

Sue has over 30 years’ experience in quality assurance and a broad food safety skill set in allergen management.

Robern Menz recognises how important effective allergen control is and we wish to make sure that quality, delicious confectionery is available to all of our customer” says Sue. “We prioritise allergen control at all stages of product development and production of confectionery to ensure that our products are safe for our allergen sensitive customers and that allergen information is identified clearly on our packaging. We do this through a process of risk assessment, training, product testing, change management and continuous improvement with cross departmental teamwork.”

Winning this award is great recognition for all of our staff to acknowledge their involvement with, and dedication to allergen control”, notes Sue.

Sue receives a complimentary registration to attend the 3rd Food Allergen Management Symposium 2019 (FAMS2019) Melbourne, including a return economy airfare and three nights’ accommodation in Melbourne.

Sue added, “The award prize of travel and attendance at FAMS2019 in Melbourne will be a great opportunity to continue to build our knowledge of allergen management and to assist us in continuing to improve our allergen management of our products into the future.

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 committee of Kirsten Grinter, Allergen Bureau and Nestlé Australia (Chair); Maria Said, Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia; and Deon Mahoney, Dairy Food Safety Victoria.

The 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.