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LONDON, England - The NSF Discussion Forum by NSF, a global health and safety organisation, has today been named the best new product and service by the Society of Food Hygiene and Technology (SOFHT) at its prestigious SOFHT 2021 awards ceremony. The SOFHT Awards recognise and celebrate excellence within the food industry and its associated industries.
The NSF Discussion Forum was launched in April 2020 to help the food industry navigate the challenges of COVID-19 by providing calibrated, proportionate, and industry benchmarked information. It enabled some of the UK’s biggest names to continue operating and serving millions of customers safely, effectively, and legally. The weekly platform of open dialogue is steered and empowered by NSF food hygiene and health science experts, offering effective knowledge sharing and discussion around common challenges that impact the food industry today.
“We are proud the SOFHT has recognised the efforts NSF has made to protect the British consumer and enable the food industry to continue to operate safely during these unprecedented times. With close to 100 sessions now conducted, NSF will continue to help with the challenges that the food service business and their suppliers face in an ever-changing world, whether that is related to the pandemic or new threat to protect the health and safety of British consumers.” Said John Rowley, Vice President Global Food Division NSF.
“What started with the intention to last only a couple of months has developed into something much more,” said Will Smith, NSF Client Director. “The forum has increasingly provided a safe space for all clients, contacts and colleagues to ask questions, share experiences and debate best practices. We believe this has been invaluable for many, which has been validated by the numbers of customers attending each week.” The weekly sessions quickly grew in audience and were joined by NSF food safety and health science experts as well as representatives from Public Health England, local authorities and even members of parliament. As the forum grew in reach, it included representatives from some of the UK’s biggest food retail, manufacturing and distribution brands who openly shared their insights, experiences and concerns as the pandemic unfolded. This enabled a consensus on safety measures to enable sites to operate safely.
Participants also benefited from NSF’s global community, learning from the insights from experts in regions and other countries around the world responding to different stages of the pandemic as it progressed across the globe. “These insights have also enabled us to get ahead in identifying emerging concerns and trends for the sector – including the rapid shift to takeaway and provision of community meals, often by people unused to the requirements and regulations surrounding this service,” says NSF Client Director Craig Adams.
The forum also provided support as businesses pivoted to stay afloat. Many had to adapt to unfamiliar ways of working such as takeaway food, or supporting charity food drive initiatives or donations to carers, shielding families unable to get to shops and children missing out on free school meals, often delivering food to the most vulnerable sectors of the UK. This brought new and unfamiliar challenges such as safe packaging and travel temperatures.
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