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New book by UC Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Science)

New book by UC Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Science) is food for thought

2 February 2005

Reading a new book by University of Canterbury Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Science) Professor Ian Shaw might make you think twice about that next mouthful of food.

Is it safe to eat? puts food safety issues in the context of everyday life and is for the consumption of everyone from the cook in the home kitchen, to the corner dairy owner, to the head chef in the biggest restaurant in town in mind.

Did you know that when you wash a chicken before you roast it for Sunday lunch that you might spread an aerosol of Campylobacter bacteria around your kitchen? Or that those almonds in your baking contain cyanide?

In Is it safe to eat? Professor Shaw discusses these and many more important food safety issues and questions – ranging from GM food to natural toxins – in his easily understood, yet authoritative and informative book.

But in contrast to many other authors on the topic, Professor Shaw sets the risks of food, food borne pathogens and food contaminants in the context of life’s everyday risks like crossing the road or flying in an aeroplane.

“Enjoyment of food and eating is a benefit that far outweighs these risks, especially if you are aware of the hazards and take steps to minimise the risk,” says Professor Shaw.
In an age of heightened awareness of how our diet can affect our health, food-centred debate from around the globe confronts us almost on a daily basis. It is no surprise then that Top Shelf Productions seized the opportunity to make a television series from Professor Shaw’s book on food safety.
An eight-part series of Is It Safe To Eat? will screen on TV One later this year, with each programme featuring one of the book’s chapters. Professor Shaw will reveal the hidden dangers in the food we eat every day and debunk some of the myths in the world of food safety.

Professor Ian Shaw is highly regarded as an international expert on food safety and a passionate communicator of science. He has had over 20 years experience in academia, industry and government both in the UK and New Zealand, which includes chairing the UK Pesticide Residues Committee and working as the National Food Safety Programme Manager at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), based in Christchurch. He is currently a member of the NZ Food Safety Advisory Board and the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Authority.


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