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Trading Standards food safety expert wins national award

Posted on Friday 8th December 2023
Helen Rishardson at the CTSI Annual Hero Awards NR

Helen Richardson at the CTSI Annual Hero Awards

A Trading Standards Officer from Staffordshire County Council has won a national award for her work in protecting consumers.

Alison Richardson won the first Megan Lee Hero Award at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) annual Hero Awards.

 The Hero Awards celebrate outstanding achievements in consumer protection and were hosted on 22 November by CTSI and Yvonne Fovargue MP in the House of Commons

The Megan Lee Award is named in honour of Megan Lee, who tragically lost her life at the age of 15 after eating a takeaway with undisclosed allergens. The award was created to recognise individuals or groups that have done something outstanding to protect the public from serious food safety breaches.

Alison was commended for leading Operation Taste which carried out food standards inspections at 2500 retail premises that are traditionally rated as low risk. Alison found multiple issues during her inspections, which resulted in multiple product recalls and notifications made to the Food Standards Agency Incidents Team.

Talking at the awards, Alison said:

“I’m sure I speak for everyone at Trading Standards when I say how sorry we are for the loss of Megan Lee, and we send our best wishes to her family.

“I was honoured to win this award in Megan’s name doing a job I love- advising food businesses on how to remain compliant with ever-changing food law.

“Allergen control may seem to be yet another burdensome rule placed on business, but it can, and does become lethal so very easily. If there are businesses out there who do not understand the rules, then please ask. The last thing we want is another waste of such a young life.”

CTSI Chief Executive John Herriman said:

“The Megan Lee Hero Award is one that is close to our hearts here at CTSI.

“We have supported Megan’s parents in their campaign work to raise awareness about the dangers of undisclosed allergens and to help avoid another family from losing a loved one. They are an inspiration to us all. 

 “Alison has demonstrated a dedication to ensuring food safety is a priority in Staffordshire and is such a worthy winner of this special Award.”

Stephanie Young, Trading Standards Lead at the county council said:

“Alison is a true asset to our Trading standards Service and is well respected by peers locally and regionally for her technical knowledge, commitment, and drive. Alison’s interventions have no doubt saved members of the public from serious food safety breaches that could have led to more tragic fatalities.”

 The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) supported this Award category and Louise Hosking, Executive Director at CIEH helped to present the Award alongside Jenni Falconer the host for the evening.

A Trading Standards Officer from Staffordshire County Council has won a national award for her work in protecting consumers.

Alison Richardson won the first Megan Lee Hero Award at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) annual Hero Awards.

The Hero Awards celebrate outstanding achievements in consumer protection and were hosted on 22 November by CTSI and Yvonne Fovargue MP in the House of Commons

The Megan Lee Award is named in honour of Megan Lee, who tragically lost her life at the age of 15 after eating a takeaway with undisclosed allergens. The award was created to recognise individuals or groups that have done something outstanding to protect the public from serious food safety breaches.

Alison was commended for leading Operation Taste which carried out food standards inspections at 2500 retail premises that are traditionally rated as low risk. Alison found multiple issues during her inspections, which resulted in multiple product recalls and notifications made to the Food Standards Agency Incidents Team.

Talking at the awards, Alison said:

“I’m sure I speak for everyone at Trading Standards when I say how sorry we are for the loss of Megan Lee, and we send our best wishes to her family.

“I was honoured to win this award in Megan’s name doing a job I love- advising food businesses on how to remain compliant with ever-changing food law.

“Allergen control may seem to be yet another burdensome rule placed on business, but it can, and does become lethal so very easily. If there are businesses out there who do not understand the rules, then please ask. The last thing we want is another waste of such a young life.”

CTSI Chief Executive John Herriman said:

“The Megan Lee Hero Award is one that is close to our hearts here at CTSI.

“We have supported Megan’s parents in their campaign work to raise awareness about the dangers of undisclosed allergens and to help avoid another family from losing a loved one. They are an inspiration to us all. 

 “Alison has demonstrated a dedication to ensuring food safety is a priority in Staffordshire and is such a worthy winner of this special Award.”

 Stephanie Young, Trading Standards Lead at the county council said:

“Alison is a true asset to our Trading standards Service and is well respected by peers locally and regionally for her technical knowledge, commitment, and drive. Alison’s interventions have no doubt saved members of the public from serious food safety breaches that could have led to more tragic fatalities.”

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) supported this Award category and Louise Hosking, Executive Director at CIEH helped to present the Award alongside Jenni Falconer the host for the evening.

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