New Senior Appointments at the Food Safety Authority of Ireland

Thursday, 24 November 2022

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) today announced the senior appointments of Dr Michelle Minihan as Director of Audit, Incidents and Investigations and Dr Micheál O'Mahony as Chief Specialist, Veterinary Public Health. Both have previously worked with the FSAI and other regulatory bodies including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA).

As Director of Audit, Incidents and Investigations, Dr Michelle Minihan will lead the FSAI’s multi-disciplinary team and work with other FSAI experts, official agencies and the food industry to assess the effectiveness of official food safety controls and compliance with food law; and to ensure investigations are undertaken when there is a suspicion of fraudulent and deceptive practices in the food chain and ensure the removal of unsafe or potentially unsafe food that is on the market in the interest of consumer protection.

Michelle joins the FSAI from the Office of Environmental Enforcement in the EPA. For almost five years, she led the EPA’s drinking water team with chief responsibility for ensuring the quality of public water supply met stringent legislative requirements. Prior to her work with the EPA, Michelle worked with the FSAI for over a decade in a variety of roles in the Enforcement Policy, Food Incidents, and Audit and Investigations teams. Michelle holds a PhD in Chemistry and a bachelor’s in science from the University of Limerick.

As Chief Specialist in Veterinary Public Health, Dr Micheál O'Mahony will lead and manage the FSAI Veterinary Public Health and Agriculture team, providing policy advice and support to all food safety personnel on the protection of consumer health from potential illness related to the consumption of foods of animal origin. Whilst also supporting effective and consistent enforcement and working with the food industry to build compliance with food law.

Prior to taking up his new role, Micheál garnered both research and regulatory experience as a researcher and lecturer in Veterinary Public Health & Food Safety with University College, Dublin (UCD) and as Authority Member and Chief Scientific Advisor with the SFPA. While with the SFPA, Micheál’s role as Chief Scientific Advisor involved implementing changes for SFPA official controls arising from Brexit. Micheál also previously served as Chief Specialist in Veterinary Public Health with the FSAI. He holds both bachelors and master’s degrees in veterinary medicine from UCD. He is a Diplomate Member of the European College of Veterinary Public Health, and a registered specialist in veterinary public health with both the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation and the Veterinary Council of Ireland.

Commenting on the appointments, Dr Pamela Byrne, CEO, FSAI, “I am delighted to welcome back Michelle and Micheál to the FSAI. They both bring a wealth of experience and expertise from their time away from the FSAI, reaffirming the science-based ethos underpinning all the decisions, policies and actions of our organisation. As senior members of the FSAI’s management team, they will lead colleagues to safeguard public health in their respective fields of audit, food incidents, investigations and veterinary public health and I am confident that they will make invaluable contributions to already excellent teams.”