SU launches SA’s first centre for food safety

Food safety

Efforts to support food safety in South Africa received a significant boost when Stellenbosch University (SU), in conjunction with Tiger Brands, launched the on-campus Centre for Food Safety (CFS) recently.

This new centre, the first of its kind in the country, will be a unique applied food science research consortium comprised of scientists working at SU and in the food industry. The centre will conduct research on food safety; provide expert advice to the industry, policymakers, and other stakeholders; and promote consumer awareness.
The centre will be situated in SU’s Department of Food Science in the Faculty of AgriSciences and managed independently by the University. Tiger Brands, one of the founding members, has given R10 million to help establish the centre.

The centre’s advisory board consists of renowned international scientists, including Prof Wilhelm Holzapfel (president of the International Committee on Food Microbiology and Hygiene), Prof Mieke Uyttendaele (from the Department of Food Safety and Food Quality at Ghent University in Belgium) and Prof Stephen Forsythe (former professor of microbiology at Nottingham Trent University in Britain).

“Food safety is everyone’s responsibility,” Prof Pieter Gouws, acting director of the CFS, stated at the launch of the centre yesterday. “We want to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to develop and exchange knowledge, experience and expertise in food safety, food defence and food processing.” The aim is to provide a blueprint for improved food safety assurance in South Africa, he explained.

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