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Highfield's webinar panel discussion for World Food Safety Day 2023

Date: Tuesday 6th June 2023 (06/06/2023)
Time: 09:00AM - 10:30AM



‘How to improve the food hygiene rating scheme’

Highfield's webinar panel discussion for World Food Safety Day 2023


In recognition of World Food Safety Day 2023, Highfield will host a live webinar panel discussion on ‘How to improve the food hygiene rating scheme’ a week prior on Wednesday 31 May 2023 as part of Highfield’s monthly Improving Food Safety webinar series.


Many countries have, or are considering adopting, either a voluntary or mandatory scoring system for catering and retail businesses which informs customers about the standard of food safety at the premises determined by the last inspection. The Food Hygiene Rating System (FHRS) operated in the UK is an example of one of these scoring systems. Although the FHRS is good, many people believe it could be improved. The results of the recent Food Standards Agency Survey regarding the FHRS supports this opinion.


An experienced panel of food safety specialists, with considerable knowledge of the FHRS, will voice their recommendations on how the scheme may be improved during the webinar on Wednesday 31 May. They will discuss the results of the FSA survey, achieving greater consistency, mandatory or voluntary, the number of levels (0 to 5) and incentives to exceed legal compliance. Whether you are based in the UK or abroad, you will certainly learn about the value of these schemes in improving food safety.


Our specially selected panel of speakers includes: Christopher Hassall (Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner), Darryl Thomson (Food Safety Consultant for UK Hospitality), John Barnes (Director of Enmoore Ltd), Paul Hiscoe (Founder and MD of Scores on the Doors) and Richard Sprenger (Chairman of Highfield).


Christopher HassallChartered Environmental Health Practitioner.

Chris is a Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner currently working as an HSE Manager for THG (The Hut Group) with responsibility for food safety within the company's hospitality and leisure locations. 

Chris started life in safety as a student Environmental Health Officer (EHO) at Stockport Council over 15 years ago and since then has worked as part of an in-house team managing hygiene and safety for nearly 600 retail stores and 9 warehouses.

Before joining THG, Chris also worked in a variety of consultancy roles for over 10 years, primarily supporting hospitality and leisure businesses to meet their compliance requirements, including food safety. Completing projects across the UK as well as Italy, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Spain and France. 

Darryl ThomsonChairman of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme Steering Group.

Former Head of Safety at Mitchells and Butlers plc. 

In 2009, Darryl was a member of the FSA’s Working Group on Scoring/Banding and Safeguards for the FHRS. He subsequently gave evidence to the House of Lords Opposed Bill Committee on behalf of the BBPA when they petitioned the House of Lords against clause 10 of the London Local Authorities Bill 2008 (Mandatory Display for Scores on the Doors). In 2019, Darryl was appointed chairman of the FHRS Steering Group which advises the FSA on the development of the National FHRS. 

Darryl is Chairman of the UK Hospitality Food Experts Group and was instrumental in the publication of the Catering Industry Guide 2016 and 2022. He is also a food safety advisor to UK Hospitality and advises several major pub companies. 

John Barnes - Director of Enmoore Ltd. 

Former Head of Local Delivery at the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

John was part of the Senior FSA Team responding to the 2013 Horsemeat Incident. His responsibilities included performance management of local authority food safety delivery, and he was instrumental in establishing the UK’s FHRS. Prior to his move to the FSA, John was Head of General Hygiene Policy at the Department of Health (DH). John joined the DH from the private sector, where he was a Director of one of the UK’s largest food safety consultancies, now part of NSF International. John previously worked in Local Government at all levels up to the Head of Service, qualifying as an EHO in 1977. Currently, he is advising several UK food safety service companies and working with WHO and UNIDO on public private partnerships to improve national food safety controls. Most recently, John assisted the FSA in developing new Codex Guidelines, agreed in June 2021, on the use of industry voluntary 3rd party assurance schemes by regulators. 

Paul Hiscoe - Founder and Managing Director of Scores on the Doors.

Paul Hiscoe holds a Degree in Computer Science and has worked in technical and management roles for many large IT corporations, including McDonnell Douglas (Northgate, NEC), IBM, NCR and Sun Microsystems (Oracle).

In the year 2000, Paul was involved in a project with the City of New York which created the world’s first food hygiene publication scheme. In 2005, when the Freedom of Information Act permitted publication in the UK, Paul co-founded ScoresontheDoors growing it to a customer base of 150 local authorities. In 2011 the scheme was acquired by FSA and merged into today’s FHRS, which was rated by RSPH in the top 20 for most effective environmental health initiatives this century. Today, ScoresontheDoors continues to provide compliance management services to large retail clients such as JD Wetherspoon, Greene King, KFC and Tesco, together with remote inspection services for local authorities, and has been awarded the Elite Award for food businesses with three consistent top scores.

Richard Sprenger - Chairman of the Highfield Group. 

Dedicated to improving food safety for over 50 years.

Richard Sprenger is the Chairman of the Highfield Group and a former Director of Environmental Services. He is one of the world's leading food safety experts and author of several internationally recognised publications and training presentations, having over 50 years of food safety experience at the highest level. He has worked with large organisations to develop food safety management systems and training programmes. He has provided advice and consultancy services to governments and has been involved in the training of enforcement officers in many countries. 

Richard and Highfield are committed to improving global safety and developing internationally recognised qualifications, training materials and digital solutions that meet the requirements of specific regions.

Sterling Crew - President of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST).

Independent Scientific and Regulatory Advisor for Highfield. 

Sterling has over 35 years' experience of working in the food industry in the fields of food safety, governance, compliance, horizon scanning, sustainability and innovation. 

An experienced food sector director, Sterling currently holds a portfolio of positions in addition to the above, including Chair of the Advisory Board of the Food Authenticity Network of the Laboratory of the Government Chemist, Managing Director of SQS, Strategic Advisor at Shield Safety Group and Dynamic Risk Indicator, Scientific and Regulatory Advisor for the sustainability organisations OLIO and The British Lion Mark. 

Moreover, he also sits on the audit governance board at Eurofins, is Co-Founder of ‘Kitchen Conversation’ and sits on the Advisory Board of New Food Magazine.


Following the panel discussion, there will be a short break and plenty of time for a live Q&A conducted by the Improving Food Safety webinar series host, Sterling Crew (President of the Institute of Food Science and Technology.) Attendance on this webinar will entitle you to a digital certificate worth 1.5 CPD points.


Be sure to check the system requirements on your device to avoid any connection issues on the day.

You will require Google Chrome as your default browser and a reliable internet connection in order to access all features of the webinar so we advise using a PC or laptop on the day. 


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