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Retail Forum - 05th June 2014

Minutes of Meeting of the Retail Forum - 05th June 2014

TIME: 11:00



Lisa O’Connor, FSAI (LO’C)[Chair]                                    
Allan Davies, Tesco (AD)
Tracy McDermott, Tesco (TMcD)
Peter Wight, Marks & Spencer (PW)
Elaine Clohosey, BWG Foods (EC)
Aoife Harrison, Lidl (AH)
Mary Daly, Dunne’s Stores (MD)
Shane Lyster, IBEC (SL)
Peter Jackson, Barry’s Wholesalers (PJ)
Selena Burke, ADM Londis (SMcA)
Lynda Kenny, Musgrave (LK)
Jonathan Halls, Boots (JH)
Sarah Wood, Aldi (SW)


Oonagh Eustace, FSAI (OE)
Dorothy Guina Dornan, FSAI (DGD)
Gail Carroll, FSAI (GC)
Alvyda Januskaite, Tesco (AJ)
Patricia McGovern, Dunne’s Stores (PMG)
Paul McKeown, HPSC (PMK)
Trish Garvey, HPSC (TG)


Denise Lord, Gala (DL)
Stuart Challenor, Tesco (SC)
Ray Bowe, Musgraves (RB)    
Roseanne Regan (RGDATA) (RR)
Suzanne Cullen, Musgrave (SC)  
Lucy Magner, Pallas Foods (LM)
Trish Twohig, Iceland (TT)
Vicki Robinson, Aldi (VR)
Julie Kirton, Aldi (JK)
Rob McEvoy, Topaz (RMcE)

Agree Minutes of Meeting of 19 February 2014

Agreed: The minutes were agreed subject to minor amendments.

Matters arising

Members contact details

Noted: EL will circulate this information to members and will include contact details of the new members when ready.

Front of Pack (FOP) labelling (e.g. traffic lights)

Action:   FSAI to inquire about the views of the Special Action Group on Obesity (SAGO) on FOP labelling

Information Sharing and Emerging Risks

Noted: PW mentioned that the report, chaired by Chris Elliott (Queens University Belfast), on the integrity and assurance of food supply networks in the UK following the horsemeat scandal will be published this month. 

Outbreak Investigation – Paul McKeown, Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC)

Noted: PMK gave a presentation to members on food borne illness in Ireland.  Some of the main points were:

  • HPSC pillars of activity
    • Surveillance
    • Provision of expert advice
    • Research
    • Training
  • HPSC and FSAI
    • Working relationship
    • Shared objectives
    • Sharing data, expertise
    • Training and research
  • Notification of infectious disease
    • Legal requirement to notify selected diseases e.g. salmonellosis and VTEC
    • Early identification in outbreaks
  • Outbreak surveillance
    • Identify routes of transmission
    • Identify trends in pathogens
    • Identify trends in food vehicles
    • Detect new pathogens
  • Disease timeline
    • Features of outbreaks
    • Pathogen incubation periods
    • Issues with sampling & testing
    • Possible vehicles – foodborne/waterborne/person to person transmission
  • Tracking food consumption history through shop loyalty systems
    • Previously used in other EU countries
    • Possibility to find link between cases 

Noted: The use of retail loyalty cards was discussed and in particular, the procedures developed to ensure that data is only shared with the permission of the loyalty card holder and that the data is restricted to food data.

Action: OE to circulate link to outbreak information on HPSC website.

Egg Storage – Carol Heavy

Noted: CH circulated the latest draft leaflet on ‘Guidance for Retailers – Selling Hen Eggs in Retail Premises’.  Some comments and suggestion were made.  It was suggested that the guidance should refer to the 72 hour exemption.  Also it was noted that in the UK the nutritional labelling was permitted under the lid of an egg carton.

Action: If members have any other comments please forward them to EL.  CH to revise draft leaflet and circulate for comment. LO’C to check if nutritional labelling can be displayed under egg carton lid under the new FIC rules. 

Food Donation via Food Cloud – Allan Davies

Noted: AD explained Tesco’s interaction with the social enterprise Food Cloud and the simple application Food Cloud has developed to facilitate donation.  At the moment, only pre-packaged and canned food are being donated.  Training materials have been issued to the stores on the handling of the food etc. 

Noted: LOC mentioned that FSAI is producing guidance on food donation; it's only at an early draft stage.

Action: EL to circulate draft of food donation guidance for comment.

Update on Progress with Allergen Information on Loose Food

Noted: LO’C explained that the SI on allergen information on loose food should be completed by July; FSAI will start to work on guidance once the SI is published.  LOC mentioned the FSAI e-learning where there is a course on General Food Labelling which also covers the change the new FIC will bring.  It was mentioned that the implementation of signage for labelling will be important and should be covered in the FSAI guidance.  Members asked about the possibility of commenting on the SI.   LOC advised members to contact the Department of Health directly.

Action: EL to circulate link to FSAI e-learning section.

Labelling of “Gluten Free” (<20g/kg) under FIC

Noted: MD sent this query into FSAI and was circulated to members.  Under the legislation a product can be labelled gluten free if it contains less than 20mg/kg. However the FIC rules require ingredients to be listed and allergens to be highlighted in bold in this list. MD expressed concern that if you mention a gluten containing cereal in the ingredients in bold text and then label the product as gluten free, consumers may be unsure if it is gluten free or not.    MD sought advice from the Coeliac Society of Ireland and they are also having an issue with the labelling on gluten free products with gluten labelled. 

Action: LOC to consult further with AMB on this query.

Labelling of Raw Milk Cheese – Lisa O’Connor

Noted: LOC highlighted that it is a legal requirement to label cheese made with raw milk with the words ‘made with raw milk’.  LOC asked members how they ensure that this information is made available to the consumer, in particular on cheese which is not pre-packaged?  

Update on Campylobacter

Noted: LOC attended a European Commission workshop on the control of Campylobacter in May at which the introduction of a process hygiene criterion for Campylobacter on poultry carcases was discussed.

LOC also attended a UK event in June, Acting on Campylobacter Together, which used an accelerated solutions technique.  The aim was to identify short term legally available measures that poultry farmers, processors and retailers could focus on to help meet the 2015 UK Campylobacter reduction target.

The feedback from both the EU and UK events was that there is no magic bullet and that consistent and continuous implementation of good biosecurity on farm and good hygienic practices throughout the food chain were required to reduce the level of Campylobacter on poultry meat. 

At the UK event, it was proposed that processors and retailers should agree a process hygiene target. The research on rapid surface chilling (to temperatures not below -2oC) was discussed and the fact that poultry marketing legislation is being revised.  It was also suggested that the research on steam as a control should be revisited.

It was noted that a retail level survey will be published by FSA UK shortly and that the Agency will be running an advertising campaign to advise the public not to wash poultry.

The possible inadvertent implications of improvements in poultry packaging were discussed:

  • Was leak-proof packaging more difficult to open and therefore might lead to more handling?
  • Are consumers washing poultry packaging to recycle it and if yes, is this increasing the risk of spreading contamination?

It was suggested that safefood could create a campaign on safely handling and preparing chicken.

Action: EL will circulate back to office report on both meetings.

Noted: LOC noted that FSAI was planning a meeting of the Campylobacter Steering Group in July and due to AD’s imminent departure from Tesco called for a member or members to replace him on this group.

Action: Members to consider volunteering for membership of the Campylobacter Steering Group

Information Sharing and Emerging Risks

Noted: A member asked for an update on the horse meat food fraud measures.  GC mentioned that EU Food Fraud Working Group is testing meat – Ireland will be taking 50 samples.  It will be testing for multiple species and samples will be purchased at retail level.  Under EU Official Controls there is a requirement for food fraud tests to be carried out.

Action: Agenda item should be updated to include food fraud.

Legislation Update

Noted: The legislation update was circulated to members as AMB could not attend the meeting.  This update has information on loose mince, eggs and fish labelling. 


Update on hepatitis A multi-state outbreak investigation link to frozen berries

Noted: This investigation is being led by EFSA. While no further outbreak cases have been reported in Ireland since October 2013, other Member States have reported cases in 2014.  As a result, FSAI’s precautionary advice to boil imported frozen berries for one minute remains in place.

Update on Regulation of Official Controls

Noted: GC explained that the updated draft EU Regulation on Official Controls has gone to EU Council and EU Parliament for discussion.  The text has been revised regarding the fee for inspections.  Retailers and food producers would now be exempt from this fee.

EHO Student Training

Noted: AD reminded members that Tesco is supporting the practical placement of a student EHO in Dublin.  AJ is in attendance at today’s meeting.  AD recommended that if any of the other members were interested in a similar initiative, they could contact him or Barbara Delaney in DIT. 

Member Retiring

Noted: AD announced his retirement from Tesco and from the FSAI Retail Forum.  LOC thanked him for his contribution and support to the Retail forum.

Date of Next Meeting

Action: EL will circulate a doodle poll with potential dates for the next meeting.