The Food Safety Information Council is a health promotion charity and a national voice for science-based, consumer-focused food safety information in Australia. We aim to reduce the estimated 4.67 million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year that result in 47,900 hospitalisations, 38 deaths and a cost to the economy of $2.1 billion by providing simple, easy to follow consumer information on the handling, storage and preparation of food. The Council was founded in 1997 as the Food Safety Campaign Group and incorporated in 2001 as the Food Safety Information Council. We are a health promotion charity ACN 614 547 241 and a company partially limited by guarantee ABN 58008715647.
Australian Food Safety Week each November is a major part of the Council’s campaign to pass on simple messages to improve consumer’s knowledge of how to handle, store and cook food safely.
Council members include representatives of state, territory and local government and food safety agencies, the food industry, community groups and professional associations.
Read our 2022-23 Annual Report
Cathy Moir – Chair and Company Secretary
Cathy has been Chair of the Council since 2019 and was Vice Chair prior to that. She is currently Senior Research Microbiologist at Quantal Bioscience and a nationally recognised thought/science leader in the microbiology and processing of foods. She advises industry and government on food safety hazard identification, characterisation and risk assessment and management of the microbiological safety, stability and quality of food. Prior to that she was Senior Food Microbiologist at CSIRO from 1986 until September 2021. Cathy is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST).
Dr Scott Crerar – Vice Chair
Scott Crerar is an experienced senior executive service leader with regulatory, scientific, project, program and corporate skills and experiences. He has worked in various departments, agencies and organisations and has led collaborative, multi-disciplinary sections. He has, as part of an executive team, developed the strategic direction for agencies and implemented these strategies. In his most recent role, Scott was the General Manager of the Science and Risk Assessment (SRA) Branch at Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). Scott has worked in food safety and regulation for 20 years across a range of risk assessment roles including the public health assessment of agricultural and veterinary chemicals and risk assessment of chemical and microbiological hazards across a number of primary production sectors. Dr Crerar previously managed the FSANZ Science Strategy and the international activities including aspects relating to the APEC Food Safety Corporation Forum. He is a Veterinary Science Graduate and has post-graduate degrees in microbiology and epidemiology.
Dr Sheri Cooper – Dietitians Australia – Director
Sheri is an experienced Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist having worked in a variety of clinical, community and research positions over the past 20 years. Sheri has held academic roles in nutrition and chronic disease management programs at several Australian universities. She is an experienced educator and has extensive teaching, and curriculum development experience in undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Sheri’s most recent projects have involved interdisciplinary research in collaboration with professionals from various fields of expertise including health care, food science, and food manufacturing.
Associate Professor Julian Cox – Director and Scientific Committee Chair
Julian Cox, an Associate Professor at UNSW Sydney, has over 30 years standing as a professional food microbiologist. After completing Bachelor, Honours and PhD degrees in microbiology and food microbiology, he worked in the egg industry, before returning to academia. From his university base, he has continued to work closely with both the egg and chicken meat industries, as well as other companies in the food sector, with a focus on food safety and quality, methods for detection of pathogenic organisms and approaches to management of pathogens in primary production and processing. He has also worked with national agencies on standards for the microbiological analysis of foods, as well as risk analysis for import and standards for primary production and processing for eggs and egg products. He is a commentator and spokesperson on issues of food safety, regularly featured across the range of popular and social media
Fiona Fleming – Director
Fiona is a Director of FJ Fleming Food Consulting Pty Ltd and CEO of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST). She is an experienced Corporate and Regulatory Affairs professional who has been involved in leading and facilitating change and developing management strategies across a portfolio of food policy and regulation matters in global FMCG and NGO environments.
Fiona has more than 30 years’ experience in the food industry in the areas of dairy, seafood, cereal based foods, smallgoods, tea, simmer sauces and pastes, ingredients and infant formula. Fiona has previously worked for a large FMCG company in the role of Group Quality and Corporate Affairs Manager. In this role she was responsible for providing leadership across Australia and New Zealand in the areas of food policy and regulation; consumer affairs and communication; issues and crisis management and food quality and safety.
Fiona is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology. Fiona is currently serving as a Non-Executive Director and Deputy Chair of Healthy Kids. Fiona is a member of Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia, an Associate Member of the Allergen Bureau and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Fiona holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Food Technology) from the University of Queensland and a Masters of Nutrition Management from the University of Wollongong
Douglas Lau, CA – Director and Risk and Finance Committee Chair
Douglas is a registered Chartered Accountant and has worked across several organisations in a commercial capacity including telecommunications, health consultancy and pharmaceuticals. He is also a registered pharmacist of over 10 years and has experience managing teams of healthcare professionals. He holds several qualifications including a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honors), Masters of Business Administration and Masters of Management which highlights his enthusiasm for ongoing education and networking with like-minded individuals both in academia and industry. Douglas has a passion for good corporate governance and joins the board as a Risk and Finance chair to leverage upon his experience as a finance professional as well as his experience as a healthcare professional.
Dr Andrew Mathieson – Director
Dr Andrew Mathieson is a senior lecturer in the college of health and medicine at Australian National University, Canberra, Director of First For Training, Honorary Editor of International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH) magazine and sits on the board of the IFEH, FSIC and ADACAS (ACT Disability, Aged and Carer Advocacy Service). Dr Mathieson worked for 12 years in UK local government before transitioning to academic life in 1998. He is an internationally respected consultant in Environmental Health (EH) and Public Health (PH). His most recent contract was working for the EU in the middle east reporting on the health projects put in place in response to the Syrian crisis. He has provided EH/PH advice at government and inter-governmental level on various topics including WASH, Food Safety, OHS, SPS, disaster recovery and resilience. He emigrated to Australia with his family in 2011 and joined ANU. He became a citizen in 2019. Dr Mathieson as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, Fellow of Institute of Food Science and Technology and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Dean McCullum – Director
Dean McCullum is a senior government officer at South Australia Health and has been working in food policy for the past 11 years. He holds academic status at Flinders University where he is interested in researching “Building trust in the Australia food system”. He has been a Senior Lecturer (Food Science) at USC and held academic positions at La Trobe University and the University of NSW. He was a senior government officer at FSANZ for 13 years in food standards development and held positions at the AQIS and the WEA. His experience in the food industry has been in food product development at Meadow Lea Foods (edible spreads) and Botanical Food Company (fresh herbs). Dean’s qualifications are a MSc (Food Science) , Grad Cert (Int Food Laws); Grad Dip (Food Tech) and a BSc (Microbiology/Biochemistry) and he is a professional member of the of Institute of Food Science and Technology.
Professor Shokoofeh Shamsi – Director and Chair of Membership Committee
Professor Shokoofeh Shamsi is an international expert in parasite taxonomy, especially aquatic parasites that cause significant diseases in humans and animals. She holds a Master degree in Medical Parasitology from Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran and a PhD from University of Melbourne, Australia, which explains her passion for research into transmissible parasites between animals and humans. She couples conventional morphological techniques with modern molecular technologies to diagnose infections and identify parasite species. Professor Shamsi discovered several new pathogenic species and strains causing emerging diseases in humans and animals in Australia and worldwide. This led to her receiving several awards, including the Recognition Medal of Global Biodiversity Meeting on Parasites and Aquatic Ecosystem Health by University of Allahabad, India for sustained academic efforts and contributions to advanced research and Outstanding Female Scientist Award from Tehran Council, Iran. She has been invited to several national and international conferences as a key note speaker. She has also been appointed to the editorial board of the World Register for Marine Species (WoRMS), Section Editor of Parasitology Research and is Executive members the Australian Society for Parasitology and Japan Society for Promotion of Science – Alumni Association in Australia.
Associate Professor Julian Cox University of NSW – Chair
Brigitte Cox is a long term member of the Food Safety Information Council. She joined CSIRO in 1988 and worked as a Industry Liaison Officer. Her previous employment was with several companies in the food industry, implementing the Frozen Diet Scheme at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, as a tutor & then Professional Officer in the School of Food Science & Technology at the University of NSW & Teacher of Food Technology at the Sydney Institute where she also gained a Dip. Ed. in Adult Education.
Brigitte’s main duties in CSIRO were responding to inquiries from the food industry, especially SMEs and start-up businesses, and the public on various aspects of food science & technology, especially on food safety. She also conducted various courses for the food industry on food safety and hygiene and implementing HACCP. After transferring to themicrobiology group, she took part in various projects to do with food safety as well as develop a HACCP ToolKit for SMEs in the food industry.
After retiring from CSIRO Brigitte worked for Qantas Airways as part of the team managing the food safety of the national and international catering facilities supplying the airline and training cabin crew and pilots on food safety.
From 2005 to 2021 Brigitte was a Honorary Fellow in Agriculture and Food in CSIRO. In this capacity she facilitated the development of a HACCP plan for the Sensory Research Group , was involved in the development of a food safety clearance scheme for research projects within CSIRO and mentored staff. More recently, she devised methods for making a prior Divisional publication, the Food Research Quarterly, electronically available to staff within CSIRO and the public and as well as constructing a database of Australian and international food poisoning outbreaks.
Dr Trish Desmarchelier OAM (former Technical Chair)
Dr Trish Desmarchelier has considerable experience in the food safety area working at the interface between science and public health. Trish has worked in academia and CSIRO and is currently a consultant in food safety in her own business, Food Safety Principles. She serves on various advisory groups and consults to both industry and food safety agencies, both national and international. She is a Fellow of the Australian Society of Microbiology and a member of the International Association for Food Protection and its Australian Affiliate. She has received the AIFST President’s award, the IAFP International leadership Award and the Australian HACCP award (non-industry) for her contribution to food safety research and management. She has been a member of the Council since 2011. She was awarded an OAM in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday honours for service to science in the field of microbiology and food safety.
Karen Ferres Manager – Food Safety & Audit, SA Health
Zoe Bartlett – Senior Microbiologist Food Standards Australia New Zealand
Dr Sheri Cooper – Dietitians Australia
Lydia Buchtmann – Communications Committee Chair
Lydia Buchtmann is a Canberra based communications consultant. She was a founding member of the Food Safety Information Council and has been involved in its communication work since 1997. She headed the Communication and Stakeholder Engagement section of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) from 1997 to 2010 and was their representative on the FSIC Executive during that period. Lydia has over 30 years experience heading communications sections in Federal Government agencies. She has a Masters in Communication (by research) from the University of Canberra 2001 and a BA (Hons) in Anthropology from the ANU 1984. She is a member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia and a life member of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance.
Annabel Selby-Jones – Communication Manager Australian Chicken Meat Federation
Samantha Smith – National Communications Officer, Environmental Health Australia
Jason Van Ballegooyen – Section Manager, Communication and Stakeholder Engagement, Food Standards Australia New Zealand
Narelle Rickford – Associate Nutritionist (NSA) + Researcher in Public Health Nutrition + Qualified Chef. I have a passion for food, health and wellbeing. I’m the creator of the Family Focused Food Literacy program Plate it Up
Risk and Finance Committee
Douglas Lau – Chair and Treasurer
Kee Chi CA
Anna Liza Navarro CA
Professor Shokoofeh Shamsi – Chair
All FSIC Board members are currently also responsible for the Membership Committee