- Ray Bowe, Musgraves [RB] (Chair)
- Alice McGlynn, Consultant [AMG]
- Maree Gallagher, Food lawyer [MG]
- Conor Mulvihill, DII [CM]
- Cormac Healy, MII [CH]
- Regina Sexton, UCC [RS]
- Patrick Farrell, ex IFA [PF]
- Annette Sweeney, TUD [AS]
- Siobhan Murphy, HSE [SM]
- Jamie Knox, Dr Pepper [JK]
- Eamonn Quinn, Kelsius [EQ]
- Jonathan Griffith, IHTA [JG]
- Janis Morrissey, Irish Heart Foundation [JM]
- Paula Barry Walsh, DAFM (retired) [PBW]
Guest Speakers Present
- Angela Fraser [AF]
- Sinead Moore, Sodexo [SDM]
FSAI Staff Present
- Gail Carroll [GC]
- Jane Ryder [JR]
- Gerard Power [GP]
- Ruth Conefrey [RC]
- Diane Fox [DF]
- Rob Phillips [RP]
- Pamela Byrne [PB]
- Caroline Keeling, Keelings [CK]
- Tim O’Brien, Restaurateur [TOB]
- Martin Roper, Food Safety Consultant [MR]
- James McCrudden [JMC]
- Sorcha Kavanagh, Repak [SK]
- Louise Reynolds, INDI [LR]
- Catherine Morrison, BIM [CM]
- Marcella Rudden, LEO, Cavan [MR]
- Dermott Jewell, CAI [DJ]
Introduction and Welcome
RB welcomed all attendees and thanked PBW for stepping in as Chair at previous meeting on 14.06.22. RB spoke of the possibility that FSCC meetings may adapt to a hybrid of in-person and hybrid meetings from 2023, with the aim to make the first meeting of 2023 an in-person event.
Declarations of Interest
Agree Minutes of Previous meeting (14 June 2022)
The minutes were agreed without amendment. All actions from previous meeting have been closed out.
- GP to post the agreed minutes to the FSAI website.
AMG informed the Council that proposals to set up a focus group off the back of the Reusable and Safe Packaging sub-group discussion was not needed due to presence of a similar group already operating through Repak and is attended by AMG and SK. AMG attended meeting held on 21.09.22 and will inform Council in future on relevant feedback.
Food Safety Training – Exploring the Need for Change
AS shared a brief presentation providing an overview on the topics and guest speakers scheduled to address the Council.
Barriers to Food Safety Training: A Research Study
Diane Fox from FSAI talked through a research study conducted in 2019 while studying at Technical University, Dublin. Extensive research and data were presented for consideration covering a range of topics from an industry survey that included:
- Food safety training levels and methods
- Online/eLearning practices
- Food Industry feedback
- Feedback from the International Food Safety & Quality Network (IFSQN)
Q&A: RB asked DF if there has been any follow up since 2019 given the possible switch to online training due to the pandemic, as the study was conducted before it occurred. DF stated that any follow up conducted has shown an industry that has adapted to hybrid models of training, with online learning becoming a popular resource.
New Approach to Food Safety Training: A Knowledge Sharing Study
Professor Angela Fraser of Clemson University, South Carolina, USA gave a presentation outlining a review of a peer reviewed six-step knowledge-sharing model covering a range of topics that included:
- Current approach to food safety training
- Transfer of training to an on-the-job environment
- The role of the food safety educator
- The knowledge sharing process
Q&A: PBW questioned if inspection and monitoring needs could be met in the more recent virtual environment adapted by industry. AF stated that US agencies continue to prioritise inspections to monitor trends of possible outbreaks versus the levels of preventative training provided.
GC spoke on the importance of buy in from management in relation to training and the fear that some might see it as expendable in the current climate given raising costs for business owners. JG and EQ offered their industry perspective in reply confirming most businesses continue to understand the importance of adequate training.
Industry Experience: Sinead Moore, Sodexo
SM gave an industry perspective on training informing the Council on how training practices within Sodexo have evolved over the past two years due to the pandemic. While basic food safety course was provided to all employees within the business across all levels, be it food service or delivery, a two-day intensive online course was implemented to ensure all kitchen staff were provided the proper level of training. SM acknowledges that while virtual training versus more traditional in person models can be challenging, they have found that the hybrid model now suits their business.
- GP to share presentations from DF and AF with Council members
GC provided an extensive update on the FSAI update paper circulated to Council members, highlighting specific publication items of topical interest. GC gave an update on topic of the recent Titanium Dioxide regulation divergence between EU and the UK, confirming that FSAI continues to track any possible divergence issues between Ireland and the UK to assist with any mitigation required. AMG proposed a legislation query in relation to Titanium Dioxide exports.
JR spoke of the recent FSAI Breakfast Bites webinar held on 20th September 2022 on the topic of shelf life of products. FSAI are seeing an increase in attendance at these events due to the virtual nature and hope to host another session before the end of 2022.
GC provided an update on the ongoing issues faced within industry in relation to labelling due to shortages that continue to occur because of the situation in Ukraine. CM stressed this was a key issue within industry and spoke of the frustration that Ireland was perceived to practice a more inflexible approach in relation to other Member States. GC confirmed that policy continues to be set by the Department of Health under guidance from fellow Member States within the EU. The FSAI will continue to engage and inform industry regarding all developments in this area. CH allied concerns around possible supply chain issues and RP confirmed more intel and engagement from industry was needed before any formal feedback could be prepared.
- GC will continue to update industry stakeholders on any regulatory issues caused by ongoing shortages.
FSAI Open Meeting 2022
RB confirmed that the FSAI Open Meeting for 2022 will be held on Thursday 17th November. Once again, the session will be held online and this year’s discussion will focus on the topic of online and remote food preparation and delivery. Since the pandemic there has been a huge increase in demand from online platforms and discussions will centre around what regulations may be needed to enhance consumer protection. GC advised that these challenges were being presented across all Member States due to a surge in demand from consumers for new deliver methods and the focus now will be how to adequately regulate these new practices.
- FSAI will advise of guest speakers once confirmed and circulate invites to Council.
FSCC Governance Framework and 2023 Appointments
GC thanked the Council for their input into the newly agreed Governance Framework and confirmed that FSAI Board input was also sought before agreeing the final draft. The new Framework will take hold from 2023, with Declarations of Interest to be circulated to Council members also. FSCC appointments due to expire at the end of 2022 will be reviewed and the newly agreed process will be implemented should new members be sought in 2023. RB confirmed that no meeting dates for 2023 had yet to be agreed.
- Governance Framework to be uploaded to FSAI website.
- 2023 FSCC meeting dates to be confirmed.
- RB to prepare FSCC update to present FSAI board for 2022 review.
- FSCC members to be advised on any membership changes from 2023.
AMG queried when FSAI’s Food Safety & You Courses were going live, GC advised that pilots remained ongoing and that any launch would be communicated to the Council in due course.
RB highlighted the excellent work and discussions that informed the sub-group topics throughout 2022 and proposed a continuation of this model for 2023 with no objections. AS and PBW confirmed work on a draft proposal for all 2022 topics was being collated for future distribution to all Council members.
- FSAI to advise when Food Safety & You Courses go live.
- FSCC sub-group topics for 2023 to be agreed.