Member news

In Memoriam Russ Flowers (24 September 2020)

ICMSF mourns the sad loss of Russ Flowers. Russ was elected to become a member of ICMSF at the annual meeting in Pretoria in 1996 and served until 2013.

Russ worked closely with John Siliker who was a member of the Commission in the late 1980s and was an expert on microbiological testing and criteria. This expertise is incorporated in many of the position papers and book chapters of the ICMSF especially in the area of the use and misuse of microbiological criteria for foods. Importantly, he also made a link between the AOAC and the Commission in the area of microbiological methods and the factors affecting methods and laboratory performance and validation.

As well as being an expert microbiologist, he was also a businessman and entrepreneur and 1996 became the first CEO of Mérieux NutriSciences. Despite being a successful and busy businessman, he always found time to give back the profession and has received many awards for his service. In addition to his scientific expertise, he also brought significant business acumen into the ICMSF. Though his link to Mérieux NutriSciences he introduced Alain and Alex Mérieux to the Commission which became an amazing association and friendship over many years.

Russ was a warm, charismatic person who was always gave his time generously to share his expertise for the benefit of the group. During sometimes heated technical debates within the Commission he always had a calming and respectful nature and also a wicked sense of humour. He was a much-loved member of the ICMSF family who will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this time.

Martin Cole, ICMSF President, Adelaide


In Memoriam Hans-Jűrgen Sinell (23 September 2020)

It is with great sadness, that the Commission has received the announcement of the passing of Hans-Jűrgen Sinell at the age of 93.

He was a member of the ICMSF from 1971 – 1992 and associated to the Veterinary Medicine Faculty of the Free University of Berlin, where he was Professor and Director of the Institute for Food Hygiene from 1961 to 1995.

Hans-Jűrgen Sinell started with ICMSF as a consultant on the first and only edition of ICMSF’s Book 5, “Characteristics of Microbial Pathogens”. A cornerstone book at a time where there were very few monographs on all aspects of growth and survival characteristics of harmful microorganisms to inform the government and industry in terms of establishing robust food safety management systems and food safety standards.

We are incredibly grateful to his expertise into and engagement wish such a seminal publication of ICMSF and wish his family and academic colleagues the strength necessary to carry the loss.

Leon Gorris (ICMSF Secretary)





In Memoriam Ricardo Sobol (4 August 2020)

ICMSF was devastated to hear of the loss of Ricardo Sobol to COVID-19 recently in Argentina. Ricardo contributed so much to food safety and to the Latin American Sub-Commission of the ICMSF. He was an expert food microbiologist who published and presented on many aspects for microbial food safety such as testing and standards, food hygiene and HACCP.

The ICMSF uses a number of sub-commissions to promote ICMSF activities among food microbiologists in their regions and to facilitate communication world-wide. The Latin American Sub-Commission (LAS-ICMSF) was formed in 1967 and has been extremely influential in establishing food microbiology as a discipline and helping to promote the use and uptake of the principles and materials of the ICMSF in the region through various conferences, workshops and publications as well as translation of some of the ICMSF materials.

For over 20 years, Ricardo contributed so much to the LAS-ICMSF. He first became a member in 1989 and later became Secretary and Treasurer and then President in 2017. He was a warm, funny and charismatic person who had a passion for food safety and was always generous with his time to share his expertise with students and professionals through the many workshops he helped to organise. In addition to his expertise in food safety, he was also an award winning photographer and was also equally generous to pass on his knowledge and photography skills if you were lucky enough to spend time with him and his camera.

He was a true gentleman and key driver behind LAS-ICMSF, he will be sorely missed.

Martin Cole, ICMSF President, Adelaide