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Queen’s Professor appointed first Honorary President of The Society of Food Hygiene and Technology

Professor Chris Elliott, founder of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast, has been appointed as the first Honorary President of The Society of Food Hygiene and Technology (SOFHT).

Professor Chris Elliott, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Queen's University Belfast

The announcement was made today at the 2023 SOFHT Awards Ceremony in London. The SOFHT Awards celebrate excellence within the food industry and its associated industries.

Professor Elliott is currently a Professor of Food Safety at Queen’s University, Belfast and Professor of Food Security at Thammasat University in Thailand.

He has published more than 550 research papers, many of them relating to the detection and control of agriculture, food and environmental related contaminants. His research interests are in the development of innovative techniques to provide early warning of major food safety threats across complex food supply systems.

Protecting the integrity of the food supply chain from fraud is also a key research topic and Professor Elliott led the independent review of the UK’s food system following the 2013 horsemeat scandal.

He also developed the world-leading Food Fortress concept which now helps support the integrity of the Northern Ireland food industry and promotes the safety and quality of our produce around the world.

Speaking at the event, SOFHT Chair, Alan Lacey, said: “We are delighted and honoured that Professor Elliott has agreed to be the first Honorary President of the Society of Food Hygiene and Technology. Our objectives as an organization are closely aligned to Chris’s work and we have huge respect for his research, particularly in the area of food fraud, one of the biggest problems facing the industry today. We look forward to his guidance and to sharing our vision for the future of the Society to the benefit of consumers.”

At the ceremony, Professor Elliott was also awarded the ‘Dorothy Cullinane Award’ by the Society for his special contribution to food safety. The Dorothy Cullinane Award is in memory of Dorothy Cullinane, a highly regarded expert in food labelling, especially in relation to food allergies.

Awarding the Dorothy Cullinane Award, Alan Lacey said: “This award, which is named in honour of Dorothy Cullinane - a geneticist and food technologist who worked tirelessly to help people affected by food allergies, is in recognition for a special contribution to food safety or the food industry generally and is decided entirely by the Board of the Society. This year the Board recognized that Chris’s work on food fraud has had a huge global impact on food integrity and consumer trust and therefore felt that he was a deserving winner.”

Commenting on these prestigious recognitions, Professor Elliott said: “It is such an honour to become the first Honorary President of the Society and receive the prestigious Dorothy Cullinane Award. I am really looking forward to supporting SOFHT in the immensely important work they do across the UK food industry.”

Professor Elliott is also a recipient of a Winston Churchill Fellowship and is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Royal Society of Biology and an elected member of the Royal Irish Academy Institute of Food Science and Technology.

He has received numerous prizes and awards for his work. In 2017 he was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry Theophilus Redwood Prize and was also awarded an OBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.