Food Safety and Innovation



In this section:

Government of South Australia SARDI - South Australian Research and Development Institute

About Food Safety and Innovation

The SARDI Food Safety and Innovation science program is a part of the Livestock and Farming Systems research division. The program was developed in response to the increasing need for transparent, scientifically objective risk assessment approaches to underpin the achievement of objectives of public health legislation and market access health criteria.

As well as minimising the risks (biosecurity and environmental) that limit the profitability of food industries, the program also covers the development of new technologies for maintaining food quality after harvest and enhancing the competitive advantage of existing food industries. The program focuses on Seafood Safety, Value Adding and Market Access and Food Technology. 

It aims to provide practical, industry-focused scientific and technical advice across government, industry and the community in respect to key issues associated with the maintenance of food quality and integrity through the value chain - including food processing and packaging innovations, food composition (chemical and microbiological evaluation and support) and new product development.

Innovative and expanded research outputs are achieved through the integration of a range of scientific disciplines required for food safety risk assessment that meet Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Health Organisation (WHO) standards. These include public health epidemiology, veterinary public health, statistical analysis, toxicology, predictive microbiology, risk modelling, food microbiology and risk communication.

The program aims to:

  • Reduce the public health food-borne disease burden 
  • Develop through-chain food safety systems that reflect the degree of risk 
  • Develop cost-effective food safety programs to maximise uptake by industry 
  • Identify sources of food-borne hazard contamination and options for control 
  • Identify potential for increased food-borne risk as a result of production and processing innovation 
  • Develop tools for risk ranking product:hazard combinations to guide risk management

Program delivery

The program runs an extensive risk communication process with all stakeholders. The aim is to transparently work with regulators, producers and industry bodies to make appropriate improvements without raising undue, adverse media coverage.

An overview of the Food Safety program capabilities, technical outputs and industry outcomes is given in Capability Profiles.

Details of current and past Research Projects include objectives, technical outputs and outcomes.


SARDI's Food Safety team was a winner of the South Australian Science Excellence Award (Excellence in Research for Public Good, 2005) and SA Great! (Advantage SA) award (Science and Technology category, 2005). It also won PIRSA Achievement Awards for its Seafood Safety and Market Access work in 2012-13 and for 'Novel and Groundbreaking Work' in 2003.   

Contact Food Safety and Innovation