safefood Young Scientist cleans up

18 January, 2008. Emma Hennessy, a student of Scoil Mhuire, Ennistymon, Co. Clare was named winner of the prestigious safefood award at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2008 in the RDS, Dublin, on Friday 11th January 2008.

Emma’s project investigated drink cans for the presence of bacteria and the most effective way to clean them. Emma decided to investigate bacterial growth on drinks cans after her brother contracted Weil’s disease from a drinks can he bought from a vending machine. Her research found that though bacteria were present on the top of drinks cans, none contained the bacteria that causes Weils Disease. She tested cans from both vending machines and retail outlets, and on the basis of her results Emma recommended cleaning the top of a drinks can before use.

Speaking at the awards, Dr. Thomas Quigley, Director, Food Science, safefood, commented, “Emma’s project was very informative and showed a good scientific approach to an interesting topic, and was well deserving of the safefood award. Emma’s project highlighted that consumers should clean the top of a drinks can before use to get rid of bacteria, but her research also provides good advice for the drinks industry to ensure the correct storage of drinks cans”.

Dr. Quigley continued, “This year in particular, the safefood category had a diverse range and substantial number of entries with project topics including Young People and Diabetes and Omega 3 fatty acids in Cow’s Milk. safefood is delighted to be associated with The BT Young Scientists & Technology Exhibition as it enables students to bring science out of the classroom and into the wider world around us”.


For further information please contact

Niamh Burdett or Kate FitzGerald, WHPR
01 669 0030 / 086 6086764 (Niamh) / 086 387 3083 (Kate) / 
or Fiona Gilligan, safefood Tel: 01 4480600