BC Food Protection Association

2013 Student Event Articles:

January 16, 2013 - Student Networking Event at BCIT

Prepared by Karen Edgar, Bachelors of Technology Candidate, BCIT

On January 16, 2013 BCIT opened its doors for its first BCFPA Student Night.  The event presented a perfect opportunity for learning and networking and was offered at no cost.  It gave the students, the opportunity to hear informative presentations and enjoy complimentary refreshments while keeping within their very tight budgets.   As a result, about 50 people attended the event.

The presenters included Terry Peters, a retired West Area Manager for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, presenting on “When I Grow Up, I  Want To Be An Astronaut” and Lorraine McIntyre, a Food Safety Specialist at British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, who talked about “Consequences of  an Xtremely Large food recall and policy recommendations arising from food investigations”.  Each presenter was very well received, and it was an honour to have them share their knowledge with the eager BCIT crowd.
During the event, Ildiko Herr, the BCIT Student Representative, and Ana Cancarevic, the current BCFPA Student Coordinator discussed the benefits of becoming a student member of the BCFPA. 

Some of these benefits included:
•    Networking opportunities
•    Publishing and presenting research projects
•    Attending events, such as speaker’s evenings and industry tours
•    Winning scholarships
•    Earning money by writing articles for the “Grapevine” newsletter

Furthermore, a few students shared their personal experiences from the Molson Brewery tour, which was held last November. The BCFPA Student event also provided students with an excellent opportunity to network with fellow students, teachers and the speakers.  Overall, the event was deemed to be a great success and to top it off, BCFPA recruited a new student member.
On behalf of all the attendees, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ana Cancarevic and Ildiko Herr for organizing the event and express our gratitude to Terry Peters and Lorraine McIntyre for their presentations.

April 26, 2013 - Farm Cheese and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Tour

Prepared by Keely Johnston, Bachelors of Science (Food Science) - UBC, Master of Science (Food Science) – UBC

Seven eager BCFPA Student members crammed into a van and headed towards the lush farmland of Agassiz, BC. Our first stop was Farmhouse Natural Cheeses, an on-farm artisan cheese production facility. We were greeted by the cheese maker herself, Debra Amrein-Boyes. The tour began with us gawking at all the different cheeses in the aging rooms. As we moved through the facility Debra explained the process and science behind cheese making, with a focus on food microbiology and safety to fit the crowd.

After stuffing ourselves with cheese and crackers and thanking the goats, cows, and Debra for the fruits of their labour, we journeyed over to the Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC) Research Centre. Dr. Moussa Diarra kindly organized an exciting afternoon where we learned about food-related research taking place at AAFC. The afternoon began with a series of interesting talks on a variety of topics: pathogens and resistance in food production (Karen Simmons), bacteriological air quality (Stephen Fung), phytochemistry health benefits (David Ehret), and alternatives to antibiotics in food production (Mussarat Fatima). The presentations were followed by a facility tour. Most of us being food microbiology nerds were thrilled to see Dr. Diarra’s Lab, complete with all the gadgets and thought-provoking posters.

Tired and stuffed, we packed into the van and began our journey back to Vancouver. After eating our weight in cheese we felt that we were missing something… so we made an impromptu stop at Domaine De Chaberto Estate Winery in Langley for a quick wine tasting. With wine, cheese, and research all checked off our to-do-lists we made it home in time for dinner.

On behalf of the BCFPA Student members we would like to thank Debra Amrein-Boyes, Dr. Moussa Diarra and everyone at AAFC for making this adventure another BCFPA success.

September 25, 2013 - Student Networking Event at BCIT

Prepared by: Andrew Hou, Bachelors of Technology (Environmental Health) - Candidate 2014, BCIT; Diploma of Food Technology 2012, BCIT

British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) opened its doors on September 25, 2013, for the second British Columbia Food Protection Association (BCFPA) Students’ Networking Event this year. This free student occasion saw a record breaking 57 attendees that included students and professors, who enjoyed a wonderful opportunity to network and hear interesting presentations related to food safety.

Lorraine McIntyre, Food Safety Specialist with Environmental Health Services at the British Columbia Center for Disease Control (BCCDC), opened the event with her talk “Marine Biotoxin Shellfish Poisoning in BC”. Lorraine explained what the harmful algal blooms are, and pointed out the importance of monitoring programs in the prevention of disease.

The second talk was given by Lance Hill, Food Policy Liaison Officer at Health Canada, who updated the group on “New Labeling Requirements for Food Allergen and Gluten sources and added Sulphites”.  Lance gave an overview of the new labeling requirements, and explained some of the common mistakes seen in practice.

Following the educational talks, Lorraine and Lance answered numerous questions and a fruitful discussion ensued with the eager BCIT crowd.

During the event, Andrew Hou, BCIT BCFPA Student Representative, provided information on some of the benefits of BCFPA student membership, such as:
•    Networking opportunities during Speaker’s Evenings and Student Industry Tours
•    Presenting research project results at the BCFPA Events
•    Winning BCFPA scholarships
•    Submitting an article for “Grapevine” newsletter, and earning $25

In addition, Andrew spoke about his personal experience as a BCFPA Student Member. He described the engaging tour of Molson Brewery and the informative Speakers Evenings that he attended during the past year.

At the end of the event, numerous door prizes were drawn and presented to the lucky winners.

BCFPA would like extend their thanks to Lorraine McIntyre and Lance Hill for their wonderful presentations, and to the BCIT student volunteers who made this event a great success!

Email: info@bcfoodprotection.ca

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