Barbara Hirst

Barbara is a Consultant in Food Safety and Quality, specialising in Allergens.

Barbara is a Food Safety and Quality Consultant at RSSL where she has worked for 17 years. In this role, she partners with customers and helps advise them on allergen management, both in risk assessment and validation of controls.

This covers customers from a wide range of food manufacturing and food service backgrounds.

She is a Geneticist by education and she was previously very involved with the horse meat industry issue and the alleged contamination of spices with nuts. Using her scientific and technical knowledge, Barbara has helped advise regulators and industry on the best practice approaches to sampling, testing and control measures. Barbara was recognised in 2013 by SOFHT for her services to industry during the horse meat crisis in 2013 by winning the ‘Best Technologist of the Year’ award.

She was the principal investigator for the FSA funded project 2012 -2014 “Survey of Allergen Advisory Labelling and Allergen Content of UK retail pre-packed processed foods” FS241038 (T07067). This was part of her previous role as manager of the DNA & Protein laboratory, where she was responsible for growing the analytical testing for allergens, meat and fish speciation and other molecular biology services. Her extensive experience enables her to partner with customers to understand the issues they are facing with allergen and other cross contract controls and help with analytical testing, factory visits or training.