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Minutes of the Food Service Forum - 4th March 2020

 Agreed Minutes of the Food Service Forum


  • Dorothy Guina-Dornan, FSAI (Chair)
  • Alison Connor, FSAI
  • Clodagh Crehan, FSAI
  • Carol Heavey, FSAI
  • Eoghan McLoughlin, Irish Prisons Service
  • Amy Sweetman, RAI
  • Louise Collins, Rocket Restaurants
  • Conor O’Kane, IHF
  • Louise Hickmott, McDonalds (via teleconference)


The Chair welcomed Eoghan McLoughlin to his first meeting and all introduced themselves.

1. Agree Minutes of 15th October 2019

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.

2. Matters Arising

There were no other matters arising that were not agenda items.

3. Katie’s Story – Why food safety is important

Ruth Conefrey, Training and Compliance Manager gave a presentation to the Group including a FSAI YouTube video ‘Why Food Safety Matters - Katie’s Story’. This video is a very useful tool as it provides an introduction to food safety for employees working in the service industry, as well as serving as a useful reminder for other staff. It was noted that short training videos seem to be effective where staff are busy to reinforce the food safety message.

FSAI has set up met with the Food Educators Forum, which comprises 3rd level institutions. The aim of this forum is to provide a structured forum for the official exchange of information between the FSAI and the Educational Institutes. FSAI has also established a network for food safety trainers, the goal of which is to establish links, provide support and raise the standard of food safety training being provided in Ireland. There have been two meetings held so far.
Noted: RC welcomed any queries the Group may have.

Action: FSAI to send the link to the e-learning module and video separately. Link to the e-learning module on the FSAI website:
Link to the video alone, for inclusion into training courses, etc: YouTube video
Action: Forum Members to share with colleagues.


CH reported that there is now a transition period until the 31st December 2020. If members have issues around BREXIT, FSAI can raise these with Department of Foreign Affairs for consideration.
Action: Issues to be sent to
Noted: The BREXIT section of the FSAI website has been updated.

5. Beef Labelling

CC raised the issue of a complaint received by FSAI regarding the labelling of beef in catering outlets. The Members were reminded of the beef labelling obligations and noted we have a leaflet on Advice for Caterers on the Country of Origin Beef Labelling Requirements on the FSAI website.

6. Country of Origin of Place of Provenance of the Primary Ingredient of a Food

CC reported this legislation comes into force on the 1st April 2020. FBOs are now obliged to give Country of Origin if the product label implies it may come from Ireland e.g. flag, shamrock. The EU Commission has issued guidance which has been circulated. The FSAI has developed FAQs on our website and new questions will be added as they come in.
Noted: FSAI welcomed any queries Members may have.

7. Meal Ordering and Delivery Services – update from members

FSAI is discussing this topic at the FSAI / HSE Service Contract Committee on Enforcement Consistency. One of the issues is that customers are generally redirected to the food business’s web page away from the ordering platform before making their order if they want information on allergens. The information is not readily available to the customer. There are a small group of FBOs doing click & collect or call & collect and in these cases the allergens can be provided over the phone or by email.

Noted: Some FBOs seal their bags to prevent tampering and cross contamination with other allergens.
Noted: It was agreed to keep this as a standing agenda item.

8. Permanent Baiting

Members are adhering to new rules and there is no increased rodent activity to date.

9. Safe Catering Pack Update

The updated Safe Catering Pack is now available: The new sections to the pack on allergens and acrylamide will be available in pdf on the website free of charge. The record books have been updated. The new Safe Catering webinar will appear on the website soon and FSAI will send a link to everyone. CH thanked everyone for their input in updating the pack.
Action: FSAI to send link to the Safe Catering webinar when it is available.

10. European Commission Guidance on Acrylamide

The European Commission has recently updated their website on acrylamide and published further guidance

cs_contaminants_catalogue_acrylamide_guidance-doc_en.pdf (

EHOs have now received training on acrylamide through elearning. EHOs will be checking that FBOs are monitoring acrylamide where relevant to their business as part of their food safety management system. Members should talk to their EHOs who will provide advice and support.

11. AOB

a. COVID-19

FSAI advised that there is an FAQ on the FSAI website with information on Covid 19 in respect of food businesses. This would be kept updated as the situation evolves. The latest Covid 19 poster was tabled (since updated).
Action: FSAI is to send a link to the FAQ and poster
Noted: Members are already seeing a big change in customer footfall and a sharp rise in cancellations.
Noted: There are shortages being reported of hand sanitizers and antibacterial soap.

12. Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for the 21st July 2020.