Dr Belinda Stuart-Moonlight cut her teeth as an EHO in Central London and went on to conduct food and microbiology research at King’s College University of London. She began consultancy work in the late 1990s and established Moonlight Environmental in 2001.
One of her early clients was the iconic Borough Market, now well known as ‘foodie heaven’ to connoisseurs but then very much in its infancy as a fine food market. Moonlight Environmental grew up with the market and still retains the pick of those start-up stallholders, some of whom have become multi-million pound traders.
As growers and producers, they were largely unaware of a need for advice and certification. Belinda, engaged by the Trustees of Borough Market as trader auditor and workplace safety adviser, was soon regarded by those ambitious businesses as indispensable.
With her roots still in consultancy, auditing and training, she is never out of touch with the day-to-day business of best practice and problem prevention. This means her expert witness work is informed by current industry practice, in addition to considerable experience, knowledge and wisdom.
Click here to see Belinda commenting on hygiene standards in rental cars on BBC Watchdog:
Expert Witness Clerk
and Office Administrator
‘I am a virtual PA but I am real!’ says Caroline Gipson.
Caroline is a professional PA who handpicks her clients from such industries as the legal and property professions. With the wonders of technology, she is able to support the office from a distance; that is all bar some expert witness report preparation, for which the material is often extensive and requires a hands-on approach.
‘There’s a great deal of transcription and proof reading involved in the expert witness reports, but I also help to keep the day-to-day office admin on track. It’s essential for the business but not something Belinda needs to be bogged down with.’
Caroline and Belinda have a great working relationship. ‘We hit it off the first time we met. I know how she likes to work and it suits me very well. The work is, of course, of a very serious nature but a shared sense of humour really helps when we’re up against it.’
She adds: ‘I really look forward to my days here. I love the work, and by not being totally ‘virtual’ I have the best of both worlds.’
‘If training can’t be enjoyable, what’s the point?’ says David Newsum. ‘I don’t like teaching on the basis of ‘I’m the expert and you’re not.’ There has to be an equitable partnership in the training.’
The challenge for any trainer is for the learned practices to be taken back into the workplace. That they might not be is tackled, discussed and potential hurdles predicted.
He and Belinda have worked on joint workshops for the past 10 years, and they share the innovative approach that ‘training’ is a longer relationship than the duration of the course. ‘It continues in the workplace. Adults learn best by building on what they already know, and that’s what we do. We encourage them. Some people say we inspire them too.’
David’s ability to encourage and inspire works equally when we take on projects to raise compliance standards and he is renowned for his ability to help change food safety culture and practices in a short time.
Maria is a qualified vet who has worked in the meat industry for over 20 years. She conducts red and white meat audits for some of the most popular and well controlled burger outlets.
Life as a food safety and auditing specialist and consultant is demanding and exacting: ‘I’ve participated in crisis management and product recall incidents,’ says Maria. ‘I see some really costly mistakes and this helps me to give grounded and practical advice.’
In her spare time she does locum work as an Official Veterinary Surgeon (OVS) at the Border Inspection Post in Liverpool. ‘Then I’m dealing with the imports of all kinds of products of animal origin (POAO) from countries outside the EU.’
Her association with Moonlight Environmental utilises all the skills and experience she has gained in her career. ‘I enjoy working with Belinda’ she says, ‘because she is as thorough as I am! We make a great team.’