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News > Michelle’s in high spirits with her food career


Michelle’s in high spirits with her food career

December 17, 2020

Michelle McGrath, a graduate from the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) is now following a career in Health and Safety within Bushmills Distillery. A former pupil of St Joseph’s College, Coleraine Michelle started studying at Loughry Campus for a Foundation Degree in Food Nutrition and Health before she progressed on to the BSc (Hons) Degree in Food Technology.

Michelle McGrath Bushmills

After graduating from CAFRE in June 2018 Michelle secured employment as a Quality Safety Health Environment Technician. New to the area of health and safety Michelle identified the opportunity to study for a NEBOSH National General Certificate to add to her food industry experience and CV. “I find the area of Health and Safety really interesting and like it or not it impacts all our lives” commented Michelle.

“My role within the Old Bushmill’s Distillery is as a Health and Safety Compliance Coordinator. I am responsible for conducting risk assessments, COSHH and manual handling assessments, organising staff training and I manage the Distillery’s Quality Management Systems,” explained Michelle.

“Work during 2020 has been challenging and COVID-19 has impacted how we do things but as anyone who works in the food industry knows we work in an ever-changing environment so we adapt and get on with production. That’s one thing we also learnt when in practical lessons in the Food Technology Centre at Loughry. We were thrown challenges to see how we would react…thinking on your feet is what I think the lecturers used to jest with us,” recalled Michelle.

“When I first enrolled at Loughry Campus I studied for a Foundation Degree and then progressed on to the Ulster University Honours Degree course, so I completed five years at CAFRE. The courses offered a wide range of modules and helped me develop a greater knowledge and understanding of the food industry. One component that particularly stood out for me was the incorporation of professionals from different sectors of the food industry getting involved in our modules during our final year. We had regular guest speakers who delivered seminars at the campus which really helped me understand how theory was applied to practical business scenarios and they provided us with up-to-date knowledge of industry trends. The lecturers at Loughry were absolutely fantastic, offering support and encouragement throughout my educational journey at CAFRE. If you interested in studying for a qualification in food Loughry Campus is the place to go!”

If you interested in finding out more about Food courses at Loughry Campus visit: or call us free on 0800 028 4291.