Catherine Watkinson, Site Senior Technical Manager of Lyons Seafoods (Labeyrie Fine Foods) has been appointed as the new Chair of The Society of Food Hygiene and Technology (SOFHT), the organisation that promotes best practice in hygiene and safety throughout the food industry.
A Food Scientist with 16 years industry experience, Catherine will hold the SOFHT post for the next two years and will be focusing on driving awareness of the society, its training and technical support among Technical Managers, Quality Managers and Food Technologists. As well as increasing membership among these individuals, Catherine and the SOFHT team plans to create Technical Manager forums and ‘round table debates’ to encourage sharing of ideas and best practise among technical managers working in industry.
Under Catherine’s leadership, SOFHT also plans to create stronger links and interaction with industry bodies, Government and enforcement agencies. Encouraging young people who are on the first step of a career in food will also be a priority, with SOFHT developing a new Student Award for launch later in the year.
Catherine Watkinson graduated from the University Of Wales Institute Of Cardiff in Food Science Technology, joining Lyons Seafoods in 1996. Today she is responsible for the control and monitoring of quality and food safety standards across the company’s manufacturing site in Warminster, and as part of the company’s Operational Strategic Team, has been responsible for setting new initiatives in food safety.
“Correct Food Safety and Hygiene is the backbone of every successful food business and SOFHT is a unique organisation able to support at every level whether through training, breakfast clubs, certification and networking.
“I am delighted to be taking over the role of Chair and along with the backing of my SOFHT colleagues will be driving forward with new ideas to promote membership, training and our position as the ‘voice’ of food hygiene and safety.”
Terry Meehan, Group Technical Manager for Retail at Greggs and Gary Hoyle, Head of Technical at Panesar Foods also joined the SOFHT Board as Directors.