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Consultative Council - 21 June 2018

Minutes of the Consultative Council Meeting, 21 June 2018.


  • Ray Bowe, Chair, [RB]
  • Maree Gallagher [MG]
  • Pat Daly [PD]
  • Tim O’Brien [TOB]
  • Jamie Knox [JK]
  • James McCrudden [JMM]
  • Martin Roper [MR]
  • Eamonn Quinn [EQ]
  • Dermot Gates, [DG]
  • Cormac Healy, [CH]
  • Annette Sweeney [AS] 


  • Una Fitzgibbon [UF]
  • Dermott Jewell [DJ]
  • Siobhan Murphy [SM]
  • Brendan Kehoe [BK]
  • Donal Maguire [DM].

FSAI Staff

  • Pamela Byrne, [PB]
  • Dorothy Guina Dornan [DGD]
  • Eileen Lippert [EL], Wayne Anderson, [WA].

1. Minutes of previous meeting on 28 March 2018

The Chair welcomed all to the meeting and invited the members to comment on the minutes of the previous meeting. They were agreed subject to one minor amendment. 

2. Matters arising

There were no matters arising that were not agenda items. 

3. Survey on Food Safety Culture

As agreed at the last meeting of the FSCC, a short survey on the topic of food safety culture was conducted. The results of this survey was circulated to the members and discussed.

Agreed: With regards Q.3 of the survey, members agreed to look at this in the future by carrying out another short survey to find out if opinions have changed.

Action: RB agreed to circulate the JFSI document on food safety culture to the FSCC members when it is available. He will also contact Lone Jespersen about the document and revert to the members. 

Work of the FSAI Scientific Committee – Dr Wayne Anderson

WA gave a presentation entitled ‘Role of the FSAI Scientific Committee’, the main points of which included:

  • Legal basis for the Scientific Committee - a statutory science body with 15 members and a five-year term of office
  • The structure of the Committee and its membership
  • The reporting structure of the Committee.
  • The current published work plan.
  • The process for requesting and delivering of advice
  • The role of the FSAI executive.
  • Transparency and the work of the Committee.
  • A summary of some of the most recent documents published by the Committee.

Action: EL will circulate the presentation to the members. An updated work plan will soon be available and EL will also send this to the members for information. Some queries followed the presentation and WA addressed all of these. 

Action: A meeting of the Chairs of the Scientific Committee, its Sub-committees and the FSCC will be arranged in the future. 

4. FSAI Strategy 2019-2023

Pamela Byrne gave a verbal update on the FSAI strategy for 2019-2023. She detailed the three phases of the development and consultation process. She also provided information on the independent consultants, who are preparing a report and who had met with some members of the Council. She explained that the draft strategy was presented to the Board. The number of goals will be reduced to four, but the mission and values will remain much the same. She also added FSAI will require additional funding to achieve all the goals and objectives, separate to any funding which would be required to deal with the impact of Brexit. 

RB provided an update on the meeting that he attended with the independent consultants where the positives of the FSAI were discussed along with emerging issues. 

There were several queries about the strategy, including how the FSAI measures its effectiveness and PB responded in detail. 

The overlap of the FSAI and EPA were discussed and RE explained how EPA and FSAI collaborate, along with HSE and indeed how FSAI collaborates with a lot of agencies. 

Action: When the strategy document is more formally agreed, it will be circulated to the FSCC members. 

5. FSAI Update

This update was circulated to the members at the meeting and RE elaborated on the main points which included:

  • Information on food incidents and alerts to date
  • Revised allergen alert subscriptions
  • Food supplement notification statistics
  • Meeting with Sports Ireland re food supplements
  • Work with HSE, DAFM and Revenue Commissioners re: the protected geographical indications for Irish whiskey and Irish Poteen
  • Discussions with the Irish Spirits Association in relation to compliance matters
  • FSAI submission to DoH on the potential effects of Brexit on food control services
  • Audits of Ireland’s official controls by the European Commission and the US FDA
  • Regulation 2017/625/EU, Official Controls of Food and some of the main changes
  • FSAI protocol for the management of outbreaks of foodborne illness is being revised
  • Upcoming crisis simulation exercises in which the FSAI will participate. One of these currently out to tender
  • Country of origin labelling and some of the main changes
  • European Commission’s possible rules on trans fats in Europe
  • Guidelines on acrylamide 

Action: EL will send information about the simulation exercise tender to the members for information. She will also circulate the guidelines on acrylamide when they are available. 

6. AOB

Carbon Dioxide Shortage

RB introduced this issue and how the shortage is affecting food safety. He outlined the reasons for the shortage and how CO2 had implications for the pig meat, poultry meat, production and slaughter industry along with shelf-life issues. This issue was discussed for some time. FSAI confirmed it has issued a note on the issue and advising that only food grade CO2 should be used in the food industry. 

7. Date of Next Meeting

Agreed: The next meeting will take place in October in Cork at a date and venue to be arranged.