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Food Service Forum - 9th May 2019

Minutes of the Food Service Forum - 9th May 2019

Location: Market 1, FSAI


  • Dorothy Guina-Dornan, FSAI (Chair)
  • Alison Connor, FSAI
  • Anne Marie Boland, FSAI
  • Lisa O’Connor, FSAI
  • Clodagh Crehan, FSAI
  • Joseph Hannon, FSAI
  • Carol Heavey, FSAI
  • Mary Flynn, Catering Management Association
  • Louise Collins, Rocket Restaurants
  • Conor O’Kane, IHF
  • Pat Crotty, Irish Prison Service
  • Martina Donoghue, Aramark
  • Diane Geelan, Aramark


  • Adrian Cummins, RAI
  • Lana McGinn, Gather & Gather
  • Louise Hickmott, McDonalds

The Chair welcomed the members to the meeting and apologised for the fact that previous scheduled meetings had to be postponed. 

1. Agree Minutes of 25th July 2018

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.

2. Matters Arising

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

3. Meal Ordering and Delivery Services

Meal ordering and delivery service is becoming more mainstream with many food businesses offering this service. FSAI has had several queries regarding the legal obligations under food legislation for these activities. Meal ordering is generally either through an app / online platform which hosts the information / payment or directly by phone to the food business. Delivery is either directly by the food business or via independent delivery services.

If the service is solely a web platform to host the information / payment and has no role in the supply chain, it is not considered a food business. If the service takes possession of food and delivers it to the purchaser, it is considered a food business. 

There was a good discussion on the various models of meal ordering and delivery which appear to be constantly evolving.

One of the issues discussed was the provision of allergen information as required in national legislation. FSAI advised members that when offering a meal ordering and delivery service it is important to ensure the legal requirements are being met in particular when they change their meal ordering and delivery service arrangements.

One restaurant chain has developed a link for allergens when receiving a delivery from Uber for example. When delivering directly to a consumer a menu with allergen information is given to the consumer with the delivery.

The onus is on food business operators to ensure delivery is within recommended timeframes. One restaurant chain has tested product in the delivery containers and they have set time frames that product must be delivered within or it must be destroyed. They also put security stickers on bags to prevent tampering.

4. Inconsistencies in EHO Inspections

There was a discussion regarding inconsistencies in inspection by EHOs in licenced premises selling food. The correspondence following inspection can often be very formal. Information on HACCP compliance or requirements is not always provided. Sometimes with a change of EHO different issues are identified. Businesses are reluctant to raise issues with EHOs.

VFI also raised some issues regarding tobacco controls however DGD pointed out that tobacco control is outside of FSAI remit.

Action: DGD to provide contact details for Tobacco Control.

FSAI has developed guidance and advice notes to help consistency in inspection in terms of how inspections should be carried out (FSAI Guidance Note No. 1) and other guidance notes on specific areas of legislation. There is a FSAI / HSE Committee on Enforcement Consistency set up under the service contract which meets 3 / 4 times per year. Issues which have national implications or application are discussed and the outcome circulated to EHOs. Food businesses are not all the same. The focus is on ensuring that inspections are undertaken in a consistent way which should result in the same inspection outcome. DGD invited food business representatives to attend for part of one the meetings. FSAI would encourage FBOs to contact their EHO after an inspection to discuss any issues that may have arisen.


AM Boland gave a presentation to the Forum. FSAI asked FBOs to consider the entire food chain and be mindful it includes food contact materials. 

BREXIT resources are available on the FSAI website. Queries can be sent to brexit at

One of the members reported they have a BREXIT Committee looking at issues and thanked FSAI for its live updates and information on the website.

6. Safe Catering Pack Review

Carol Heavey gave a presentation to the Group and outlined the review of the Safe Catering Pack which took place last year. Following consultation Acrylamide and Food Allergen sections have been added to the pack.

Action: FSAI agreed to send a link to the Regulation on Acrylamide to the group.

Update: The revision of Safe catering is complete. It is currently with the designers. FSAI will let the Forum know as soon as it is available.

7. Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/649 – trans fat, other than trans fat naturally occurring in fat of animal origin

DGD informed the meeting of the publication of this Regulation. It sets a maximum limit on the use of industrially produced trans fat in food. Its aimed at protecting consumers’ health and providing healthier food options.

The content of industrial Trans Fatty Acids (iTFA) is limited to a maximum of 2g per 100g in food intended for the final consumer and food intended for supply to retail. Businesses that supply other food businesses must provide information on the amounts of trans fat in food supplied to that business if the limit of 2g is exceeded. This legislation will apply from 2nd April 2021.

Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/649

8. AOB

World Food Safety Day 

Lisa O’Connor informed the group that the 1st World Food Safety Day was on 7th June. With the high incidence of gastroenteritis caused by Campylobacter in Ireland, the FSAI together with DAFM and Safefood have chosen the theme of “Don’t wash your chicken” for this day.

Safefood have a video/advert on this issue which was run a number of years ago and this will be re-run. There will also be a number of messages on the topic on social media. While no physical materials will be produced by FSAI or DAFM on the event, Safefood are working with retailers on producing shelf talkers etc.

LoC encouraged members to raise awareness of World Food Safety Day and perhaps run an event within their own organisation on a food safety related topic for their premises to mark the day. 

Vacuum packing and Single Use Plastic 

Black trays are often used for vacuum -packed raw meat. The introduction of the Single use Plastic legislation could impact on the use of these non-recyclable trays. FSAI was asked about shelf life in respect of vacuum-packed raw meat if the black trays were to be replaced. LoC advised that the FSAI Guidance Note No.18 on the Validation of Product Shelf-life would still be valid. There is generally a shelf life of up to 10 days though there are exceptions for foods such as raw meat. The criteria to consider for raw meat is set out in Appendix 2 to the Guidance Note. 

If these trays were replaced, LoC confirmed that shelf life studies would have to be reviewed to ensure that the use of a new material did not impact on the shelf life of the product. 

Calories on Menus

PC informed the Forum that he had heard in the media recently that the Minister for Health intended to introduce mandatory requirements. FSAI stated that they were not aware of any update in this area but that colleagues in Public Health Nutrition.

Update: FSAI has not been advised of any recent proposals

Front of Pack Labelling 

AMB advised the Forum that work was ongoing in the EU in this area with a series of joint stakeholder meetings between the EU, Member States and industry. The EU are due to publish a report looking at various schemes that operate both inside and outside the EU.

9. Date of next meeting

FSAI will circulate dates for the next meeting.