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Retail Forum - 9th of February 2011

Minutes of the Retail Forum - 9th of February 2011

TIME: 11.00 am


Lisa O’Connor, FSAI (LOC) [Chair]
Lynda Kenny, Musgrave (LK)
Elaine Clohosey, BWG Foods (EC)
Denise Lord, Gala Retail Services (DL)
Ray Bowe, Musgraves (RB)
Suzanne Cullen, Superquinn (SC)
Allan Davies, Tesco (AD)
Stuart Challenor, Tesco (SC)
Selena McAndrew, ADM Londis (SMcA)
Rob McEvoy, Topaz (RMcE)


Dorothy Guina Dornan, FSAI (DGD)
Anne-Marie Boland, FSAI (AMB)
Pat O’Mahony, FSAI (PO’M)
Alfred Hunt, IMB (AF)
Lorraine Nolan (LN)


Elizabeth McGrath, ADM Londis (EMcG)
Orla McKeever, Lidl, (OMcK)
Peter Wight, Marks & Spencer (PW)
Aleksandra Rzeczkowska, IBEC (AR)
Mary Daly, Dunnes Stores (MD)


Eileen Lippert (EL)

Sale of Medicinal Products – Alfred Hunt and Lorraine Nolan, IMB

Alfred Hunt and Lorraine Nolan were introduced to the Forum and the main points of the presentation included:

  • The role of the Irish Medicines Board (IMB)
  • Information about medicinal products which may be sold in non-pharmacy retailers
  • Information about authorised medicinal products
  • How to recognise an unauthorised medicinal product
  • Information about product authorisation (PA) numbers
  • Details of pharmacy confined medicinal products
  • Classifications of products
  • Risks involved with medicinal products
  • Controls of paracetamol sales
  • Recalls
  • Product safety
  • Counterfeit medicinal products
  • What retailers can do – top ten tips

A question and answer session followed the presentation and some of the issues raised included a combined list of PA and PL (product licence) labelled products. Also referred to was parallel product importation. The issue of herbal products was also raised and members were reminded that all herbal supplements must be notified by the manufacturer/Irish distributer to the FSAI. Many herbal supplements are borderline medicines and LN gave details on where to refer for further information on these on the IMB website. Also discussed was the issue of own brand products and it was confirmed that each distributor must have its own product authorisation. Members were advised that the IMB be contacted directly with regards to distribution centres as these are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Cosmetics were also discussed and IMB confirmed that they will be hosting an information day about this topic in the near future.

The list of products on the IMB website is updated daily and LN agreed to rectify problems that members reported with the IMB website. LN also circulated, for information purposes, a copy of an article she wrote recently entitled ‘Regulatory Compliances for the Distribution and Sale of Medicinal Products’.

Action: EL to circulate the presentation electronically to the members.

Food Information for Consumers (i.e. Labelling) – Proposed Changes to EU legislation – Anne-Marie Boland, FSAI

FSAI’s Regulatory Affairs Executive, Anne-Marie Boland, was introduced to the Forum members. At the outset of her talk she made the proviso that the draft legislation will be subject to change and that the information was current as at 8 February 2011. Her presentation covered the following:

  • Background to the current proposal for food labelling and nutrition labelling
  • A brief summary of the current legislation and the plan for the future legislation
  • The layout/chapters/annexes of the proposed legislation
  • The views of the Commission, Council and European Parliament on mandatory nutrition information
  • The views of the Commission, Council and European Parliament on front of pack and additional forms of expression
  • Other changes
  • The views of the Commission, Council and European Parliament on responsibility, country of original labelling and some other new proposed additions
  • An outline of what happens next.

After the presentation AMB fielded questions which included a query on FSAI’s position on front of pack labelling (i.e. traffic light system, guideline daily amounts, etc.). She confirmed that the FSAI does not support one type over another. The current exemption for labelling of individual packs of ice-cream was discussed and it was confirmed that the FSAI has requested that best-before dates should be put on individual packs.

Action: EL to circulate the presentation to members.

Nanotechnology and Food – Pat O’Mahony, FSAI

Pat O’Mahony, FSAI’s Specialist in Biotechnology, was introduced as the final speaker and his presentation covered the following:

  • When nanotechnology began
  • Explaining nano size
  • Nanoparticles and surface area
  • Nanotechnology today
  • Medical treatments
  • Engineered nanotechnology v natural nanotechnology
  • Application of nanotechnology in agrifood
  • Nanotechnology in food production
  • Nano-encapsulation of food ingredients
  • Challenges facing the regulators
  • Internet trading
  • New technologies – optimism and pessimism in EU
  • Exposure pathways
  • Regulation in Ireland
  • European food legislation
  • Regulatory gaps
  • Challenges for food sector
  • Current work at the FSAI
  • Information dissemination/risk communication/publications

There was some discussion about the current use of nanotechnology by food manufacturers after the presentation.

Action: EL to circulate an electronic version of the presentation to the members along with the link to the nanotechnology report published by the FSAI.

Minutes of the Last Meeting

Following the three presentations the formal meeting of the Forum took place.

Agreed: The minutes of the last meeting were adopted without amendment.

Matters Arising

Leakproof Packaging for Chicken

Noted: LO’C gave an update on the status of this factsheet. She reported that she has spoken to Safefood regarding their advertising campaigns to see if they could incorporate the specific issue of safe handling of chicken in domestic kitchens into their ads. Safefood advised that their campaigns tend to be general (for example the recent TV campaign on prevention of cross contamination). Discussion took place about front of pack labelling for safe handling instructions, the hygiene practices of TV chefs and it was queried if there was a breakdown of food poisoning outbreaks. LOC described the national statistics available from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. Members were also advised that the FSAI is preparing an FAQ document on the safe cooking of burgers.
Action: LOC to contact Safefood to explore if there is anything additional that can be done to educate the public on safe handling of chicken.

Salt Updates

Action: EL to continue circulating the monthly salt updates to the members.

Out of Hours Contact Numbers

Action: EL to email members to obtain their out of hours contact numbers and give them the FSAI out of hours number and circulate numbers received to DGD and LOC.

Draft Guidance Document on Microbiological Criteria Legislation

Members were informed that this draft guidance document is at an advanced stage and members will be circulated to them for comment.

Campylobacter Control in Poultry

This report was signed off by the outgoing Scientific Committee, however a few issues were subsequently raised and it needs to be ascertained if they are substantial issues that need to be addressed by the new Scientific Committee.

Saturated Fats

The FSAI recently signed a contract with a modelling expert to analyse intakes of saturated fatty acids in the Irish population. This is being done using the Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance surveys of children, teens and the new adult survey (due for publication this year). She explained that the saturated fatty acid (SFA) content of foods in the adult survey is currently being calculated by researches in UCD and that it would be very useful to receive details from members on recent reductions to SFA composition of own brand foods to ensure that the most current information was included in the analysis. Irish manufacturers have also been approached for this information.
Action: LOC to consult with UCD as soon as possible to determine the exact information that the researchers would need.
Action: Members to provide information where relevant.

Legislation Update

LOC briefly spoke about the points contained in the legislation update and DGD gave information about Regulation 16/2011 to members.
Action: EL to send the legislation update to members electronically along with Regulation 16/2011.

Any Other Business

There was no other business.

Date of Next Meeting

The next two meetings will take place in June and October and FSAI to confirm dates with the members.