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Retail Forum - 18th October 2011

Minutes of the Retail Forum - 18th October 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)
Sandra Murphy, Lidl (SM)


Dorothy Guina Dornan, FSAI (DGD)
Anne Marie Boland FSAI, (AMB)
Pat O’Mahony, FSAI, (PO’M)


Torlach Denihan, IBEC (TD)
Aleksandra Rzeczkowska, IBEC (AR)
Selena McAndrew, ADM Londis (SMcA)
Rob McEvoy, Topaz (RMcE)
Peter Wight, Marks & Spencer (PW)
Mary Daly, Dunnes Stores (MD)


Eileen Lippert (EL)

Minutes of the Last Meeting

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

Matters Arising

Seminar on Microcriteria and Shelf-life

This FSAI/Teagasc seminar will take place on 17 November 2011 in Ashtown Food Research Centre. A €100 charge will apply.
Action: Should a member wish to receive a hard copy of the new guidance note on the microbiological criteria Regulation and the revised guidance note on shelf life determination that will accompany this seminar, please contact E Lippert.

Salt Reduction

The 2011 update of the Industry achievements and undertakings for the salt reduction programme will soon be posted on the FSAI website and it will be accompanied by a press release.


There have been changes to biocides legislation and AD had some queries about this. FSAI will consider whether the IMB and possibly the Pesticide Control Service of DAFM should be invited to speak about the subject.

Allergen Labelling, Infant Formula Marketing – Pat O’Mahony, FSAI

Pat O’Mahony gave a quick update on this and a copy of the recently published leaflet entitled ‘Food Hypersensitivity – Food Allergy and Intolerance’ was distributed to the members for information. Members were advised to contact the FSAI if they had any queries regarding the sale or marketing of infant formula.

The European Court of Justice recently ruled that pollen from genetically modified (GM) plants contained in honey is considered a food ingredient and requires authorisation.

The issue of ‘may contain’ allergen labelling was also raised and members were encouraged to use this labelling prudently. Retailers were advised to be cautious in asking suppliers to use this labelling when it is not necessary or warranted as it could be seen as misleading labelling.

Action: Members were also asked to review what is happening in their own organisation. FSAI will contact those are found to be carrying out this practice.

POM noted that EFSA is doing some work on this area. Members confirmed that they would be interested in being involved in preparing guidance on ‘may contain’ labelling.

Labelling Survey on Food Contact Materials

Members were informed of a survey which started in September which is focusing on food manufacturing and retail outlets. Inspectors will be checking labelling and documentation that accompanies plastic food packaging. The survey will finish on 31 December 2011. Should members have any questions, please contact Rhodri Evans in the FSAI.

New Labelling Legislation – Anne Marie Boland, FSAI

AMB gave a presentation which commented on:

  • The timeline of the upcoming Regulation
  • The key elements
  • Gave some of the main specifications
  • Allergens
  • Distance selling
  • Country of origin labelling
  • Minimum durability
  • New requirements wrt product name
  • Nutrition declaration
  • Nutrition declaration application
  • Other new labelling indications
  • Websites for further information

Noted: AMB explained that this legislation has been under discussion for the past four years. It is expected to be published very soon. When more information is available, FSAI will post it onto its website.

Noted: GDA labelling and other existing systems have not been affected by the new legislation; however the percentages have changed in the annex.

Calories on Menus

Noted: LOC updated the members on this proposed initiative. She circulated the rules of the voluntary scheme in the UK. The FSAI will hold a public consultation on the calories on menus topic in the near future; however she did seek the views and opinions of the members.

Noted: This initiative has been introduced in some of the staff canteens in Tesco UK. Concerns were expressed by some members of the consequences of misleading labelling i.e. an item could be labelled with 200 calories, but depending on chef and the person serving the food, it could be 280 calories. Other issues such as seasonality of dishes and calculation of calories were discussed. However, members acknowledged that such an initiative could be very useful for consistency and reducing costs.

Update on Campylobacter

Noted: There is no further update since the last meeting other than the report has been published. A meeting of stakeholders, including retailers will take place in the FSAI on 21 October to discuss the recommendations of the report.

Action: If any member who is unable to attend the meeting on 21 October has additional information about leak-proof packaging, please contact the FSAI.

Legislation Update

Noted: A copy of the legislation update was distributed to members at the meeting and LOC explained the main points of interest to the members.

Action: EL to email the update to the members.

Any Other Business

Retail display of unwrapped bakery products

DGD raised this issue and a draft document which was prepared by PEHOs was circulated to the members for information. This document will be formalised and published on the FSAI website in the next month.

Action: If any member has comments on the document, please contact the FSAI.

Debate on Raw Milk

The Minister is due to legislate on this but FSAI does not know when. Members added that the public debate on this is having a negative impact on unpastuerised cheese.

Guidelines on Sampling the Environment for Listeria monocytogenes

LOC apologies for the short notice and requested members’ comments on the draft EU guidelines as soon as possible.

Action: EL to send the guidelines to members directly after the meeting.

Date of Next Meeting

It was agreed to have three meetings per year - one in February, one in June and the last one in October. EL will doodle members to arrange the dates.