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Food Service Forum - 25th July 2018

Minutes of the Food Service Forum - 25th July 2018

Location: Market 1, FSAI


  • Dorothy Guina-Dornan, FSAI (Chair)
  • Eileen Lippert, FSAI
  • Anne Marie Boland, FSAI*****
  • Lisa O’Connor, FSAI*
  • Sinead O’Mahony, FSAI**
  • Joseph Hannon, FSAI***
  • Carol Heavey****
  • Adrian Cummins, RAI
  • Cristina Arroyo-Casabonas, FSAI
  • Helena O’Brien, Catering Management Association
  • Simon Tiernan, McDonalds
  • Louise Collins, Rocket Restaurants


None received

*agenda item 3,5, 7
**agenda item 8
***agenda item 4
****agenda item 5
*****agenda item 6

Agree Minutes of 6th June 2017

The Chair welcomed the members to the meeting and introduced FSAI staff. The Chair apologised for the rescheduling of meetings.

Agreed: Updated draft minutes were circulated at the meeting. Clarification was provided in the text to the legislation regarding the requirements for allergen labelling of non-pre-packaged food. These draft updated minutes were agreed. They will be published on the FSAI website.

Matters Arising

Terms of Reference (ToR)

Agreed and Action: Members present adopted the draft changes proposed to the ToRs and agreed to their publication on the FSAI website.


FSAI has contacted members to check if they are still the relevant person in their organisation to attend, if they wished to continue to participate and if not to nominate an alternative. FSAI still needs to follow-up with a number of companies. FSAI asked members if they thought there were other food businesses who should be invited to attend. There was a discussion on how to increase participation as attendance at meetings has been relatively low.

Action: LC will send contact details of a potential member. 

There were no other matters arising that were not already tabled on the agenda. 

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Lisa O’Connor (LOC) gave a presentation on the Irish National Action Plan on AMR (iNAP), the legislation controls in the animal sector and surveillance data. She emphasised that the iNAP aims to ensure the responsible use of antibiotics and does not support ‘antibiotic free’ marketing of (or labels on) food products. It is more important to encourage responsible antimicrobial use than having a zero tolerance. If an animal is sick, it should be treated correctly and properly and the necessary withdrawal period be enforced. She added that FSAI is working with DAFM on a statement of intent for retailers and of a copy of this can be made available to the members when it is available. FSAI would like the food service sector to be aware of this initiative and that the food service sector should not be requesting that food being supplied to them is ‘antibiotic free’, rather there should be responsible antibiotic use.

Action: The presentation will be emailed to the members. 

Serving Burgers that are Safe to Eat

LOC advised that the FSAI will publish an updated fact sheet on the service of burgers that are safe to eat next week and summarised the main changes. 

Action: A copy of the press release and the fact sheet will be circulated to the members as it is targeted at industry. 

Notice to boil frozen imported berries

Noted: FSAI has received a number of requests as to the status of its notice to boil frozen imported berries. The notice is still in place.

Regulation (EU) 2017/2158 on the Reduction of Acrylamide in Food

JH FSAI provided an update on this regulation which entered into force in April 2018. He advised that the European Commission has been working on a guidance document to support its implementation and FSAI is also preparing a guide for food businesses in Ireland. 

There was a discussion about the recent trend for double and triple cooking foods especially chips, consumers preparing their own toast at breakfast buffets and how best to deal with these issues. Shelf-life issues relating to cooking oil was also raised. It was also suggested that, for practical purposes, the FSAI should simultaneously educate industry and consumers about acrylamide.

Action: FSAI will revert to LC re query on shelf-life/quality of oil issue. 

Review of FSAI’s Safe Catering Pack

CH FSAI explained the background to the review being undertaken of the FSAI Safe Catering Pack. CH explained that feedback via a survey of food business owners and consumers indicated there was a need for a review. The members also agreed. The RAI is willing to put forward two staff members to assist in this regards. Much discussion took place about training needs and that the pack should be introduced to all the training colleges. 

Agreed: CH will prepare a summary proposal for this review and associated training needs. She will circulate it to the members of the Forum.

Country of Origin Labelling

AMB FSAI provided a summary of the new rules on country of origin labelling required on pre-packaged food in certain cases. She advised that FSAI will prepare guidance on this.

Action: The presentation will be emailed to the members. 

MenuCal Update

SO’M and CAC FSAI updated the members on the recent training provided to EHOs on MenuCal. Members were advised to contact the FSAI if new ingredients need to be added to the system. Members were also informed that calorie labelling will soon be mandatory in N. Ireland. 

Requirements for Allergen Labelling for ‘drive thru’ food services

DGD addressed this issue and reiterated that the legislation requires that allergen information must be available in writing for consumers at all food businesses before the sale or supply of the food. One of the members raised some issues that their company has with the legislation as written. They outlined their approach in practice to complying with the requirements. DGD advised that this forum is limited to discussing matters of general national interest rather than issues relating to individual food businesses. That said, FSA / HSE is open to engage any food business operator. This member will contact FSAI directly in the near future to discuss their concerns. Much discussion took place and members agreed it would be useful to see how the allergen labelling is handled in the Czech Republic as their legislation is similar to that in Ireland. FSAI is happy to engage with industry if they are experiencing practical problems with implementation. 

On line meal ordering and delivery services

FSAI advised that it has been considering on line meal ordering and delivery services with HSE at the Service Contract Committee on Enforcement Consistency and the discussion to date. There were discussions about the various permutations and combinations of services on offer. It appears to be an evolving business. FSAI will consider this further in light of the information provided at this meeting. It will be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.

Agreed: FSAI will consider this further. It will be placed on the agenda for the next S> Committee for Enforcement Consistency and the next meeting of this Forum

FSAI Strategy

The FSAI draft strategy is being finalised and will be launched in the next few months.


FSAI will be carrying out a survey of the FSAI industry fora on the impact that Brexit will have on food safety and members own food businesses. DGD outlined the questions proposed and invited members for their observations.


There is a public consultation on the FSAI website regarding marginal/local/restricted activity in the context of Regulation (EC) No 853/2004. DGd outlined the current national legislation to provide for exemption of certain retail to retail activity of products of animal origin from retail butcher shops and retail catering establishments which is provided for under Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 and the proposition posed in the consultation. This consultation is open until September. Members were invited to participate.

Members raised the issue of the move towards ‘keep cups’, straws and other plastic food service items and food safety. FSAI considers it is a matter for individual food business operators to determine their policy on same. FBOs need to manage this as part of their food safety management system.

The requirement for microbiological testing at food service level was raised and the members were advised that FSAI’s Guidance Note 27 provides practical guidance on complying with the legal requirements. Food businesses can also discuss these issues with their local EHO. 

The Chair and the Forum members thanked Helena O’Brien for her contribution to the Forum since its establishment and wish her the very best in her retirement. 

Date of next meeting

FSAI will circulate dates for the next meeting.