School of Sport and Health Sciences
Darwin Building, DB218
+44 (0) 1772 89 3657
Subject Areas: Applied Public Health, Nutritional Sciences and Applied Food Safety Studies
Carol Wallace is Professor of Food Safety Management Systems and Co-Director of the Nutritional Sciences and Applied Food Safety Studies Group. She is Research Lead for the School of Sport and Health Sciences and a leadership team member for the UCLan Research Centre for Global Development (C4Globe). Carol’s research interests include food safety performance from farm to fork, in particular HACCP system effectiveness and food safety culture, causal factors in food outbreaks and incidents, and controlling food safety risk in business and the home.
Carol’s background is in microbiology/applied food safety and her career spans 35 years in the food industry and food safety education. After graduating from the University of Glasgow with a BSc Hons in Microbiology in 1985, Carol spent nearly 20 years working in the food industry; in food manufacturing (GrandMet Foods/Express Foods/Pillsbury), retailing (Sainsbury’s) and consultancy (RSSL), where she ran 3rd party audit and training businesses. Whilst at RSSL, she completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (MMU, 2000) and joined academia at UCLan in 2004, as Course Leader responsible for developing the highly successful MSc in Food Safety Management by eLearning. Carol’s industry experiences and research interests led to her PhD in Factors Impacting HACCP Success in Multinational Food Manufacturing (UCLan, 2009).
Carol is a world authority on the HACCP system of food safety management, with particular interests in effectiveness of systems delivering food safety performance from farm to fork. She is keen to emphasise the food professional’s responsibility for food issues as part of the multidisciplinary approach to managing public health, and the need to support groups such as SMEs, Farmers’ Markets and Consumers with guidance on how to handle food safely.
Her research interests focus on factors impacting food safety management system effectiveness, including approaches to measure and strengthen food safety culture, causal factors in food outbreaks and incidents, and the effectiveness of food safety audit/inspection and governance systems. Carol was instrumental in setting up an academic network to explore and share knowledge about the emergent food safety culture field in 2015 – the Salus Food Safety Culture Science Group – and is its current Chair. She regularly presents at and organises conference symposia in the areas of food safety management and culture.
Carol is widely published in the field of food safety and is author and co-author of several best-selling text-books, which have been instrumental in guiding HACCP and food safety management practice in the international food industry. She has advised many high-profile companies in developing and reviewing their food safety management systems and strategy and has contributed to food safety initiatives for smaller food businesses. Peer review publications cover a range of food safety topics related to her research interests and she is currently working with Wiley on an online platform, Food Safety Management in Practice, aiming to bridge the gap between academic research and industry practice.
Teaching activities and responsibilities
Soon, J.M., Brazier, A.K.M and Wallace, C.A. (2020) Determining common contributory factors in food safety incidents – a review of global outbreaks and recalls 2008-2018. Trends in Food Science & Technology . ISSN 0924-2244
Wallace, C.A., Manning, L. and Luning, P. (2019) The Evolution and Cultural Framing of Food Safety Management Systems – Where from and Where next? Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.
Jespersen, L., Butts, J., Holler, G., Taylor, J., Harlan, D., Griffiths, M. and Wallace, C.A., 2019, The impact of maturing food safety culture and a pathway to economic gain, Food Control, 98, pp. 367-379.
Wallace, C.A., Sperber, W. H. and Mortimore, S.E., (2018) Food Safety for the 21st Century, 2nd Ed. Wiley-Blackwells, Oxford, UK
Evaluating and Predicting Maturity of Food Safety Culture in Food Manufacturing (Collaboration with University of Guelph, Canada and Cultivate)
Building on existing research in the field of organizational culture, food science, and social cognitive science, this research developed and tested a food safety culture measurement system, validating the approach across a range of global manufacturing companies through method triangulation and developed dimensions of food safety culture now adopted by the Global Food Safety Initiative. Moving forward, this research has allowed development Food Safety Culture Networks such as the Salus Food Safety Culture Science Group and to bring together academic, business and governance actors to bid for collaboration funding to answer key research questions. Recent publications consider the route to financial gain via strengthening food safety culture and defining terminology for enhanced understanding of food safety culture and ongoing research is investigating the roles of subcultures within food safety culture.
Causes and risk factors in food outbreaks and incidents
Aiming to explore potential for a predictive analytics system in order to predict trends towards incidents requires the identification of common contributory factors in food manufacturing incidents leading to potentially serious food safety incidents (e.g. product withdrawals and recalls, food poisoning incidents and legal offences), and to near misses. This study involved a systematic search and review of published food safety incidents and recalls, identifying where possible the contributory and root causes of incidents. This provided key insights into global food safety incidents according to food and drink categories, hazards and common contributory factors. Findings highlight the lack of good quality data on root causes of food incidents and the importance of examining a range of incidents in depth from a qualitative perspective to try to close this data gap. First phase of research funded by BRC GS and results published in Trends in Food Science and Technology.
A GCRF-funded project aiming to identify approaches to reduce the incidence of diarrhoeal diseases in infants via interventions in practices for preparation, handling, storage and feeding of complementary foods in the home.
PhD and Professional Doctorate research:
Food Safety Culture for Business Performance (UCLan-Cultivate)
This Knowledge Exchange/Partner funded project will provide a university-industry collaborative platform that allows businesses to access support for food safety culture improvement, which has been shown to link directly to business improvement and financial gain. Using the academic expertise of UCLan and industry/culture measurement expertise of Cultivate, the collaboration will provide knowledge transfer and improvement opportunities for industry and research partnership prospects in the field of culture enabled food safety and quality performance