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Retail Forum - 13th November 2018

Minutes of the Retail Forum 13th November 2018


  • Dorothy Guina-Dornan (Chair) FSAI
  • Eileen Lippert FSAI
  • Lisa O’Connor FSAI (for items 3 & 4)
  • Pamela Byrne FSAI
  • Joseph Hannon FSAI (for item 7)
  • Sinead O’Mahony FSAI (for items 8 & 9) 
  • Katie Creamer Aldi
  • Aoife Harrison Lidl
  • Peter Wight M&S
  • Aisling McGough Tesco
  • Lynda Kenny Musgraves
  • Rosaleen Fagan Musgraves
  • Trish Twohig Iceland
  • Sharon Murphy Barrys
  • Tracey McDermott Tesco
  • Tara Buckley RGDATA
  • Caroline O’Connor Gala
  • Elaine Clohosey BWG


  • Ray Bowe Musgraves
  • Jonathon Halls Boots
  • Gareth Coburn Pallas Foods
  • Elizabeth Bowen Retail Ireland
  • Selena Burke Avoca

1. Introductions

Members and FSAI staff introduced themselves. Members were advised that Elizabeth Bowen has moved from Retail Ireland and Selena Burke has moved from Avoca.  Their replacements will attend future meetings of the Retail Forum. 

2. Antimicrobial Resistance – the statement of intent

LOC thanked the members that responded to the draft document. The comments received were very useful as some very pertinent questions were asked.  LOC sent a subsequent email clarifying the issue raised. FSAI would like to finalise the document and encourage the members to sign up to the initiative.  LOC also updated the meeting on an action plan for animals which can be seen on the Origin Green website.

Agreed: Members were in agreement that the wording of the document should be changed to clarify that it refers to own brand products only.   The document was signed off and the amended document as agreed. It will be published on the FSAI website with an introduction outlining the background to this initiative. LOC also agreed to send a link to the Origin Green section of the Bord Bia website to the members for information. 

PB gave an update on the inter-departmental AMR group of which she is a member. PB informed the members that the retailers were highly complimented for their collaboration on this topic. 

3. Campylobacter

LOC advised the members that DAFM has two new staff driving the strategy for campylobacter.  Lidl gave a short update on the progress of the Irish Stakeholder Group and LOC enquired as to whether FSAI could provide assistance.  LOC referred to the amendment to Regulation (EC) NO 2073/2005 on microbiological criteria on process hygiene criteria for campylobacter and queried if members have observed any changes.  Members advised that they have their own standard protocols and while levels are being found, there is nothing to be concerned about.  Members also added that they do look at processors results as part of their food safety management. 

Members stressed the need for consumer education as there is no major reduction in campylobacter rates in humans. It was noted that when members carry out staff training, all staff have heard of salmonella and E.coli but not of campylobacter.   FSAI will continue to keep in touch with the stakeholders on this and a new retail survey about this will be conducted in the future. 


PB outlined the steps that FSAI is taking regarding Brexit and added that every state agency is treating Brexit as a priority.  PB advised the members that FSAI does not have a role in trade negotiations. PB stressed that Ireland will have to comply with the applicable rules as laid down by the EU in the event that the UK becomes a third country.  PB also advised that FSAI discussions are in the context of East/West borders only.  PB informed the members of a survey that FSAI will be conducting on the BREXIT – its impact on food businesses in the context of food safety. Members were urged to complete the survey when it is published.  It will be circulated to all industry fora.  PB requested that members pass on any information they might find useful from this update to any Brexit forums that they sit on. 

5. FSAI Strategy 2019-2023

PB advised the members that FSAI’s new strategy starts on 1st January 2019. It will be launched in early February 2019 and FSAI is currently in the implementation phase.  The vision statement remains the same and the mission statement has been simplified. There are five goals, three of which are external facing and the other two are internal facing.   Additionally, the FSAI will be 20 year in existence next year and a number of events will take place to mark the anniversary.  Members will be kept informed. 

6. Agree Minutes of June 2018 Meeting

The minutes were agreed without amendment.

7. Matters Arising

Country of Origin

Action:  PW will circulate guidance which BRC has prepared on country of origin labelling. 

Official Control Legislation

FSAI is at an advanced stage in the process of breaking down the legislation and a new website will be established and launched soon.  

8. Acrylamide

JH joined the meeting and advised the members that Regulation (EU) No 2017/2158 entered into force on the 11 April 2018. Since its publication the European Commission have been working on a guidance document to facilitate implementation. This guidance document has been endorsed at the Standing Committee on Plants Animals Food and Feed (SCoPAFF) meeting on 11th June and is expected to be published online soon. The FSAI is developing a guidance document which will reflect the specifications of Regulation (EU) No 2017/2158 in the context of food businesses in Ireland.

A new monitoring Recommendation on acrylamide in food has been endorsed by the SCoPAFF on 11th June 2018 and is proceeding through Commission internal procedures. The Recommendation which is a continuation of Monitoring Recommendation (EC) No 2013/647 will target foods not included in previous monitoring recommendations and food already included for which data is lacking.

Action: The guidance documents will be circulated to the members when they are available. 

9. MenuCal Update

SO’M joined the meeting and advised the members that more ethnic foods have been included in MenuCal and information previously only available in PDF is now available in Word, making MenuCal more user-friendly.   SO’M explained that a short training course and user guide is also available on the system.   FSAI has hired consultants to assess feedback received on the platform and members were encouraged to contact the consultants. Information is confidential and GDPR compliant.  SO’M also spoke about a recent survey on allergens and outlined the main findings.  

Action: The allergen survey findings will be circulated to the members, along with a PDF of SO’M’s presentation.  PW will also share with the FSAI a document on allergens that the UK is working on.

Action: SO’M added that an Allergen Declaration Working Group is being established and the first meeting will take place on 4th December 2018. SO’M asked if the Retail Forum would be interested in providing a representative to participate.

10. Health and Nutrition Claims on Infant and Young Child Foods

SO’M updated the members on some of the findings of a small survey of health and nutrition claims on infant and young child foods.  There were many breaches of the legislation which FSAI would like to bring to the attention of the retail sector.

Action: A report on this survey will be drafted and shared with the EU and the Retail Forum.

11. AOB

Food Donations

The European Commission has published guidance on how small businesses can manage food donations in the context of their responsibility to only place safe food on the market. This compliments the series of factsheets on food donation on the FSAI website.

Action: A copy of the guidance will be circulated to the members. 

Product Recalls and Withdrawals

One of the members suggested that it would greatly assist the efficiency of product withdrawals and recalls if the Food Incident team could provide more specific details on products affected. FSAI agreed to provide as much information as it has available to FBOs.

12. Dates for 2019

The Forum will meet on the following dates in 2019:

  • 14th February
  • 28th May
  • 12th September
An additional meeting about Brexit may be convened if necessary. 
Action: These dates will be circulated to the members.