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Food Service Forum - 8th June 2017

Minutes of the Food Service Forum - 8th June 2017

Location: FSAI Seminar Room


  • Dorothy Guina-Dornan, FSAI (Chair)
  • Alison Connor, FSAI
  • Anne Marie Boland, FSAI
  • Gail Carroll, FSAI*
  • Mary Flynn, FSAI**
  • Caroline Donovan, FSAI**
  • Ray Ellard, FSAI***
  • Vanessa Cooling, FSAI****
  • Diane Geelan, Aramark
  • Adrian Cummins, RAI
  • Charlene Thornton, Compass Group
  • Helena O’Brien, Catering Management Association
  • Catherine Higgins, McDonalds


  • Pat Crotty, Vintners Federation of Ireland
  • Louise Collins, Rocket Restaurants
  • Lisa O’Connor, FSAI

*agenda item 1-3
**agenda item 5, 6, 9a
***agenda item 1
****agenda item 5, 6, 9a, 11

1. Welcome and Introductions

DGD welcomed everyone. DGD outlined the internal reorganisation within FSAI to align more effectively with our Strategic Objectives. The Food Service Forum transferred from Food Science & Standards to Risk Management & Regulatory Affairs (previously Consumer Protection). DGD expressed her thanks to Lisa O’Connor as outgoing Chair. Those present introduced themselves. RE asked for any views on how to progress the Forum and thanked everyone for attending.

2. Agree Minutes of 3rd November 2016

The draft minutes were agreed without amendment.

3. Matters Arising

DGD reiterated FSAI advice on cooking burgers thoroughly and tabled the factsheet that was previously circulated electronically. Copies are available online. 

4. Terms of Reference (ToR)

The current ToR was tabled. The membership was reviewed. DGD asked the Group if the membership is sufficiently representative. The importance of current and emerging issues was noted.

Action: FSAI to make some suggested changes following the discussion and circulate in draft.
Update: Please see Food Service Forum Terms of Reference.
1. …and act as the first point of contact between the company / association and the FSAI in respect of the scope of this Forum
4. The Forum will meet twice annually or more often if necessary
6. …and the Data Protection Act
10. Remove the second and third sentence

Action: FSAI will contact all current members to check if they are still the relevant person in their organisation to attend and if they wish to continue to participate.

Action: Group to consider the current ToR (see above).

Action: ACum to send FSAI some contacts who may be invited to join the Forum.

5. Allergen Information Campaign

The FSAI carried out an audit of food allergen labelling in November 2016. VC provided a summary of the audit and its findings.

Noted: The Allergen Poster was circulated at the meeting. Copies are available on request.

There was a query on the legal requirements for document retention in relation to allergen labelling on menus.

Action: FSAI to respond to the query on the document retention requirements.

Update: There is no specific legal requirement regarding record retention in respect of allergen labelling of non-prepacked food.

Noted: The RAI were unhappy with the visual used in the FSAI allergen awareness campaign as it suggests a ‘fine dining’ establishment in the campaign when the results of the audit show there were positive results in ‘fine dining’ restaurants.

The Forum discussed liability/responsibility for allergen labelling for delivery companies e.g. Deliveroo, Just Eat.

Action: FSAI is considering this and will put it on the agenda for the next meeting.

Noted: Bakers of celebration cakes that are brought into venues should provide the allergen information. However it is voluntary for the recipient to pass the information on. FBOs must decide if they want to allow a private person to bring in cakes.

6. Requirements for allergen labelling in drive thru or similar

A discussion took place on the allergen labelling requirements in a drive thru.

Noted: It is not sufficient to ask a member of staff for allergen information. The customer must have sight of all relevant allergen information at the point of presentation, sale or supply.
Action: FSAI to discuss drive thru allergen labelling requirements with EU counterparts and revert to the Forum.

7. Surplus Food 

The issue of food waste and food donation was discussed. It was noted that Food Cloud has been successful in making the connection between donor and recipient. A working group has been established by Food Cloud to discuss any potential food safety issues. It was noted that donation of hot food / previously heated food presents difficulties not posed by ambient or chilled foods. Food businesses engaging in food donation will need to consider their obligations with regard to traceability and labelling in particular.

Noted: FSAI is drafting FAQs for areas of the food chain from donor to recipient.
Noted: FSAI will raise the issue of donating another FBO’s product and whether the brand owner should be consulted before donation.
Action: FSAI will circulate the draft FAQs shortly for comment.
Noted: Recipients of donated food may be considered as a food business and therefore may need to notify HSE. HSE are very supportive of these initiatives and will give advice on a case by case basis depending on the nature and extent of the activities being carried on.

8. IS:340 Hygiene in the catering Sector - update

NSAI is reviewing a number of their standards at the moment including IS: 340. The updated standard will reflect the new approach to the pre-requisite programme (PRPs as recommended in the EU Commission Notice C278).

9. FSAI updates


MF gave some background on MenuCal and reported it was re-launched in 2014 with software that is primarily aimed at facilitating allergen labelling. FSAI has developed a workshop to support FBOs with allergen labelling. The software is updated regularly based on feedback.
Noted: Any queries can be sent to
Noted: RAI will not be advocating members to use MenuCal for the declaration of calories on menus. 

Acrylamide limits in fried and baked foods

There is a draft EU Regulation at an advanced stage to control the levels of acrylamide in fried and baked foods. Rather than setting limits at this stage, the approach is to incorporate the requirements into hygiene legislation rather than into the contaminants legislation. Levels of acrylamide will be managed as part of the food business operator’s food safety management system. The Forum suggested that FBOs should ‘cook blonde’.

Frozen berries

The FSAI advice to boil imported frozen berries remains in place.

Regulation (EU) No 2017/625 on official controls

DGD provided a short overview of the new Regulations. While this regulation provides the overarching framework, for many aspects the details have yet to be determined in Implementing and Delegating Acts. The Commission has a programme to prioritise these in advance of the date of application of this Regulation in 2019.

E-learning modules on the FSAI website

DGD provided an update on the e-learning modules available on the FSAI website and in particular the latest module on additives. These are openly available; they are confidential to the participant and can be done over time.

10. Enforcement Consistency

DGD informed the Group that she is Chair of the Service Contract Committee on Enforcement Consistency which is set up to ensure in so far as possible a consistent approach to official control by the Environmental Health Service of the HSE. 

Noted: Members are welcome to raise issues with the EC Committee either directly or through DGD
Action: HO’B to send an email to DGD on a potential issue for the Enforcement Consistency Committee.

11. Queries to the Advice Line by food service FBOs

There were 10,500 queries to the advice line in 2016. Almost 1900 were from Caterers.

Action: FSAI to look at the possibility of developing You Tube videos for training e.g. cooking burgers advice.

12. AOB

FSAI Publications - updates

  • FSAI GN24 on ‘gluten free’ and ‘very low gluten’ definitions 
  • ‘Safe Food to Go’ 
  • Factsheet on the safe cooking of burgers has been updated – Revision 3
  • Pre-requisite programmes
  • GN 16 on food stalls
  • Business Start Up
  • FSAI GN 18 on shelf life validation – relevant to businesses producing ready meals

EFSA opinion on HACCP for small retail establishments

EFSA published its opinion on the simplified application of HACCP to small retail establishments. 

It focused on five types of small retail establishments but it is likely that other business types could be considered in the future.

Outsourcing Caterers

Noted: A sub-contractor using facilities e.g. kitchen in a hotel / licensed premises, can be issued with an enforcement notice separate to the establishment’s proprietor. The sub-contracted or franchised operation would require registration as a separate food business even if the operation is shared by time.

13. Date of next meeting

FSAI will circulate dates for the next meeting.