Dr Rachel Hartnell MBE
Science Director and Seafood Safety Scientist
Rachel is a science director within Cefas, and Head of Cefas, Weymouth laboratory, with responsibility for approximately 160 scientific and technical staff working in seafood safety, environmental science, and aquatic animal health.
Rachel is also the director of the newly designated United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN FAO) Reference Centre for Bivalve Mollusc Sanitation, responsible for Cefas’ partnership with FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture division and FAO Member Countries. The role of the Reference Centre is to deliver the vision of enhanced global production of safe sustainable bivalve shellfish (oysters, mussels, clams, scallops etc) in FAO Member Countries with an interest in development of a bivalve industry for domestic consumption and international trade.
Rachel has thirty years’ experience in applied bacteriological and virological seafood safety, and aquatic animal health research, policy advice and delivery of statutory programmes within UK government and the European Union.
Rachel’s areas of specialist research interest are the study of water and shellfish borne human pathogens such as norovirus and hepatitis A virus and Vibrio spp, method development and validation, and laboratory quality assurance.
Developing the production of safe sustainable bivalve shellfish (oysters, mussels, clams, scallops etc), laboratory methods in food microbiology, seafood regulations and policy, reference materials, microbiological validation, proficiency testing, aquatic environmental human pathogens and seafoods (norovirus, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio vulnificus, Salmonella, Escherichia coli). Seafood risk assessment and management.