- Clodagh Crehan, FSAI (Joint Chair)
- Sinéad Murphy, FSAI (Joint Chair)
- Alison Connor, FSAI
- Gail Carroll, FSAI
- Lisa O’Connor, FSAI
- Sinéad O’Mahony, FSAI (part of meeting)
- Aideen McCann, FSAI (part of meeting)
- Martina Donoghue, Aramark
- Gaynor Noonan, McDonald’s UK & Ireland
- Louise Hickmott, McDonald’s UK & Ireland (part of the meeting)
- Lana McGinn, Gather & Gather
- Louise Collins, Rocket Restaurants
- Pat Crotty, VFI
At the outset of the meeting the Group wished Dorothy Guina-Dornan, FSAI chair of the Retail and Food Service Forums well in her retirement and thanked her for her valuable contribution over the years. The Chair welcomed Gail Carroll, new Director of Regulatory Affairs and Compliance Building. Gail updated the Group on her new role in the FSAI and it was noted that FSAI welcomes the Food Service Forum input into developing compliance with legislation in this sector. All those present introduced themselves.
2. Agree Minutes of 4th March 2020
The minutes of the meeting 4th March 2020 were agreed.
3. Matters Arising
There were no other matters arising that were not agenda items.
4. EU guidance on food safety management systems - Lisa O’ Connor
Lisa gave a presentation to the Group and the following was noted: The European Commission Notice on Food Safety Management Systems (2016/C 278/01) is currently being revised and is expected to be finalised by early 2022. Since it was published in 2016, there have been a number of developments:
- the introduction of requirements on allergen control, food redistribution and food safety culture (Regulation (EU) 2021/382)
- International standards:
- 2018 - ISO 22000
- 2020 - Codex Alimentarius General principles of Food Hygiene (CXC 1-1969).
- The ‘decision tree’ has been removed and is currently being reviewed.
- There is a new concept of GHPs requiring extra attention.
- 2020 - Codex Alimentarius Code of Practice on Food Allergen Management for Food Business Operators (CXC 80-2020)
- 2020 - Commission Notice providing guidance on food safety management systems for food retail activities, including food donations (2020/C 199/01) which is based on two Scientific Opinions published by the European Food Safety Authority on hazard analysis approaches for certain small retail establishments (2017 and 2018)
LOC highlighted the support available in Ireland for caterers - NSAI’s Hygiene in the Catering Sector (IS 340) and FSAI’s Safe Catering pack (the 2020 edition includes updated guidance on controlling allergens and new guidance on controlling acrylamide) and FSAI guidance on food donation.
5. Allergen Labelling – Sinéad O’Mahony & Aideen McCann
Sinéad gave a presentation on allergen declarations on non-pre-packed foods and the work that was completed by an allergen subgroup (comprised of members from businesses, Environmental Health Service, FSAI and Safefood). The group has developed an infographic which will accompany other allergen information on the FSAI website. The FSAI is currently running a mini social media campaign ‘Be allergen aware’ which will run until the end of October. There was a discussion around the 14 allergens and whether the list has been expanded or if there will there be any additions. Sinéad reported there has been some work at international and Codex level but there is no immediate change in EU law. The Group noted the Infographic is an excellent resource.
Action: Sinéad to check with FS&S if there is any change to the current Codex list of allergens.
Update: No update available to date, for further discussion at the relevant Codex Committees
6. Meal Ordering & Delivery Service
FSAI has an Enforcement Consistency Committee where this issue has been previously discussed, the Group were asked if there was anything further to be raised. It was highlighted that some food ordering and delivery platforms developed their own covid guidelines and courier service for deliveries as aggregators (offering the consumer the option to choose from multiple businesses in an area). They are not however providing direct links to the requirements for allergen and nutritional information and customers must leave the ordering page and are directed to another webpage for this information which is not ideal. There were also some concerns highlighted by the group surrounding delivery platforms and aggregators whose couriers are not using heated insulated bags >62 ˚C and customers are receiving cold food. Food businesses reported that they have little control over the aggregators and couriers. The responsibility for the food safety of the product requires further discussion.
Action: FSAI to raise at the Enforcement Consistency Committee meeting for discussion and opinion.
FSAI has been sending out regular updates and the FAQ on the website was updated in July 2021. It was noted there has been some rejections at Irish BCPs due to incorrect SPS paperwork for products coming from the UK (excluding NI) which seemed to be largely due to lack of familiarity with the changes in place since 01 January 2021, but most issues have been addressed and importers and food businesses have adjusted to the new requirements.
- Update on FSAI Training Projects
Food Safety & You
The FSAI ‘Food Safety & You’ training course is a 3-hour induction training programme, for employees in all sectors of the food industry. It is designed to be delivered by supervisors/managers/ trainers to their staff within their own food business. It is based on the skills outlined in the FSAI’s Guide to Food Safety Level 1- Induction Skills. This course is used extensively by businesses in the food service sector. The training course is currently being re-developed. The re-developed course will be launched early in 2022.
Breakfast Bite webinars
These have moved online some time ago – but just to note that they are recorded and are available on the FSAI website – and can be used as an information source, or as training aids. They cover a wide range of topics, but of most interest are probably the ones on “Back to Basics”, “How to Manage Food Safety in Your Business”, “Food Allergen Declaration in Ireland” and “Food Safety Training – What you Need to Know”
- Ethylene Oxide
This ongoing issues relating to ethylene oxide contamination of food and feed was discussed at an EU Commission meeting on the 4th October 2021. It was agreed that the LOQ of 0.1 mg/kg (as sum of ethylene oxide and 2-chloroethanol, expressed as ethylene oxide) will remain as applicable to all food and feed additives as well as to substances which can be used as nutrients such as calcium carbonate. The Commission will reflect further on the experiences gained to date and consider whether there is a need for a more refined approach to risk management in the future. Further information on Ethylene oxide is available on the FSAI website - https://www.fsai.ie/faq/ethylene_oxide.html
There was a discussion surrounding legislation the Group should be aware of and the FSAI noted that date marking, mandatory front of pack nutrition labelling/nutrient profiles and country of origin are all under discussion at EU level in a revision of Regulation1169/2011 (FIC). The Commission published an inception impact assessment on this back in December 2020, but further work is to be carried out at Commission level.
The topic of a sustainable food systems framework was also discussed, and it was noted that the Commission had published an inception impact assessment on this topic at the end of September and feedback was sought from the group.
Action: FSAI to send links to early discussions on EU legislation.
Update: Email sent to the Forum 21st October 2021. The next meetings of the Forum will take place in March and September 2022.
Action: FSAI to send dates for the meetings.