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Minutes of the Retail Forum - 29th November 2010

Minutes of the Retail Forum - 29th November 2010

TIME: 11.00 am


Lisa O’Connor, FSAI (LOC) [Chair]
Lynda Kenny, Musgrave (LK)
Peter Wight, Marks & Spencer (PW)
Elaine Clohesy, BWG Foods (EC)
Denise Lord, Gala Retail Services (DL)
Mary Daly, Dunnes Stores (MD)
Ray Bowe, Musgraves (RB)
Aleksandra Rzeczkowska, IBEC (AR)
Suzanne Cullen, Superquinn (SC)
Allan Davies, Tesco (AD)


Dorothy Guina Dornan, FSAI (DGD)


Elizabeth McGrath, ADM Londis (EMcG)
Stuart Challenor, Tesco (SC)
Selena McAndrew, ADM Londis (SMcA)
Rob McEvoy, Topaz (RMcE)
Orla McKeever, Lidl, OMcK)


Eileen Lippert (EL)

The minutes were agreed without amendment.

1. Matters Arising

Noted: The members were advised of a change in the agenda. The speaker had to unexpectedly attend a meeting in Brussels. The presentation will be arranged for a future meeting. Members were also advised of an FSAI seminar about nanotechnology taking place today. Members were also informed about an IFSTI seminar on labelling due to take place on 1 December and AMB from FSAI will present at it.

Action: Members expressed an interest in having PJOM present to them on nanotechnology. They would also like to hear AMB’s presentation from the IFSTI seminar. These presentations will be arranged for a future meeting.

Notification system for Gluten-free food

Noted: It is expected that a system for notification of gluten-free foods will be put in place in 2011.

Meeting between poultry processors and retailers

Action: FSAI will arrange a meeting between poultry processors and retailers after the campylobacter report is published.

Salmonella in duck eggs

Noted: Since the last meeting, there have been two more cases. LO’C gave some information about Safefood activities in response to this issue and members were advised to contact EL if they would like more information on these.

Labelling of fresh or frozen poultrymeat

Noted: A query about partially cooked, previously frozen, poultry meat which was raised at the last meeting was addressed. A note on the labelling of fresh or frozen poultry meat was distributed to the members. The requirement (Regulation 1047/2009) to label poultry meat as fresh, frozen or quick frozen applies to poultry meat and poultry meat preparations but not to poultry meat products. DAFF is awaiting further clarification on the scope of this Regulation from the Commission but in the meantime FSAI would view cooked chicken as a meat product.

FSAI position on cloning

Noted: LO’C confirmed that the information regarding the FSAI position on this issue, explained at the last meeting was correct.

HACCP seminar

Noted: The HACCP seminar planned for November 2010 will now take place in spring 2011.

2. Update on Campylobacter Control in Poultry

The majority of members have reverted to FSAI with their campylobacter controls. Based on this information a short document on ‘How to minimise the risk of leakage from chicken packaging’ was prepared and circulated to the members for comments. It was clarified that the document will be aimed at retailers and enforcement officers. The document was discussed in detail and several amendments were proposed and accepted

Action: . FSAI will incorporate the amendments and the revised document will be circulated. Members will have two weeks to revert with any further comments.

Action: LO’C will enquire what initiatives, if any, that Safefood might have in the pipeline regarding consumers and chicken packaging.

3. Salt Reduction Programme and Saturated Fat Reduction Programmes

It was noted that updated details on industry salt reduction achievements and undertakings had been published in September. Also the FSAI has started to post on its website, a monthly update on salt and related health matters worldwide, focusing primarily on salt reduction. These updates include links to peer reviewed journal articles, press publications, research news, legislation etc.

Action: EL to circulate the link to the monthly salt reduction update to the members.

Members were informed that the FSAI has almost finalised a contract for a project to model saturated fat intake in Irish consumers. A brief summary of what this entails was given.

4. HSE Audits

At the last meeting a member had a query about what EHOs require for a HSE audit. LO’C clarified that sometimes it is necessary for an EHO to request a copy of the food safety management system or certain aspects of it but said that the original should always be available on the premises.

5. FSAI Surveys

A copy of the report on the microbiological quality of raw chicken fillets that are sold loose, but were previously distributed in gas flushed packaging was distributed to the members at the meeting. LO’C urged members to ensure they are carrying out the correct procedures with regard to this type of poultry. It was commented upon that some retailers have observed manufacturers giving incorrect information.

Talk then turned to storing pre-packed sandwiches at the wrong temperatures and members discussed some difficulties experienced with equipment not maintaining the required temperatures.

Two microbiology surveys are planned for 2011; (i) Campylobacter spp. in fresh chicken products on retail sale; and (ii) VTEC in raw burgers in catering establishments. Both these are planned to start in April 2011. The bottled water survey is ongoing.

On the subject of VTEC in raw burgers, LO’C announced that the updated VTEC report had just been published and explained that broadly the situation has not changed since the 1999 report in terms of controls at retail level. She did make the members aware of the risks surrounding needle-/blade-tenderised meat.

6. Legislation Update

A document outlining recent changes in relevant legislation was distributed at to the members.
Action: EL to circulate electronically to the members.

7. AOB

Out of Office Contact Details

Action: DGD has requested that members provide her with out of office contact details for use in the event of a recall. Likewise, members would like to get FSAI out of office contact details.

Seminar on Food Contact Materials

LO’C commented on the recent seminar on food contact materials and outlined some of the main obligations on industry.

Guidance Note on Regulation 2073/2005 on microbiological criteria

Members were informed that a working group has been established to prepare a guidance note on the Regulation. Members were encouraged to contact EL with any issues they have in interpreting the Regulation and the WG will try to deal with them in the guidance note. It is planned to publish the document in early 2011 and to have a seminar on the issue once it is published. Also being updated is FSAI Guidance Note No 3 on microbiological guidelines for ready-to-eat foods samples at point of sale. Again, if members have areas that they think need to be addressed, the FSAI would like to receive feedback.
Action: Members to submit issues they think need to be addressed by these guidance documents.

HACCP Seminar

LO’C explained that this seminar will be open to industry and regulators. Possible topics were discussed, e.g. ISO 22000, the need for an interactive approach (e.g. panel, case studies or break away groups). The issue of too many CCPs was raised and lack of ownership/understanding of systems developed by external consultants. In response to a question about regulation of standards among food safety consultants LO’C explained that FSAI does not have the remit to do this work but had produced a “buyer beware” type factsheet to help businesses who decided they needed to use a consultant chose the best one for their business.
Action: FSAI will circulate its factsheet on how to choose an external consultant.
Action: The recent HACCP workbook for farmhouse cheesemakers was referred to and FSAI will circulate this workbook to the members electronically.

8. Date of Next Meeting

EL will contact members to organise a mutually convenient date.