Lancaster City Council employee wins national award for helping food businesses keep customers safe

A former chef turned council food safety officer has been recognised by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) for his outstanding efforts in food allergen training.

Kevin Burge, who joined Lancaster City Council in 2018 after a successful catering career, was recognised as an Inspiration to Others in this year’s Regulatory Excellence Awards.

After joining the council, Kevin completed a higher certificate in food control at Birmingham University, along with Chartered Institute of Environmental Health assessments to become a fully competent and authorised food officer.

Kevin was praised for bringing his knowledge of the industry to his role as a food inspector, as well as his passion is for helping businesses understand the complexities and critical safety risks of allergen control in the commercial kitchen and supporting them to thrive.

Kevin Burge.

He led on a project to introduce food allergen training to food businesses, using his catering knowledge to bring training to life with engaging practical demonstrations.

Kevin said: “I was thrilled to be a finalist for an award after the nomination from my team but to actually win an award was fantastic. It is fantastic to get recognition from my peers.”

Steve Sylvester, Lancaster City Council’s commercial protection manager, called the achievement “fabulous news” and said: “Kevin is an inspiration for us all not just because of his passion and enthusiasm for his work, but as an example for others who might also be thinking about changing their career.

“Lapses in allergen control in a kitchen can easily lead to serious injury or death, and local near miss events strengthen Kevin’s resolve to improve safety within our local businesses.”