- Rob Phillips (Chair)
- Clare Briody, Tesco
- Ash Stretton, M&S
- Antoinette Kennedy, Ashbury Global
- Katie Creamer, Aldi
- Aoife Noonan, Lidl
- Samira Nicolo, Retail Ireland
- Elaine Clohosey, BWG
- Lucy O’Connor, Musgrave
- Catriona Norris, Avoca
- Vouris Dimitrios, Dunnes
- Kate Butler, Barry’s
- Tara Buckely, RGDATA
- Neil Spreadbury, Iceland
- Joanne Barry, Barry’s
- Tracey McDermott, Tesco
- Colm O’Bric, DAFM
- Lorraine Fitzgerald, DAFM
- Clare Casey, DAFM
FSAI Staff Present
- Clodagh Crehan
- Claire Rogers
- Alison Connor
- Sinéad Murphy
- Nuala Collins
- Stacey, Circle K
Welcome and Introductions
The Chair, Rob Phillips welcomed everyone to the meeting and all those present in the meeting introduced themselves. Rob welcomed Emelie to the FSAI and congratulated Clodagh on her promotion to Regulatory Affairs Manager.
Presentation on the Marketing Standards for Fresh Fruit and Vegetables – Clare Casey, DAFM
Clare Casey gave a presentation on the Marketing Standards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. The Group discussed communications issues where inspection outcomes are possibly not reaching the correct contact at store level. Clare welcomed any questions and provided her email address to the Group.
Agree Minutes of Previous meeting (20 July 2022)
The minutes from the previous meeting were agreed.
FSAI has published a guidance note which is available on the website. Developments in this area are being tracked and will be shared with the Group at a future meeting in 2023. FSAI will report any issues when it is necessary.
This item needs continuous monitoring however it doesn’t directly affect the food ban. FSAI can circulate the survey.
Food Safety Culture
FSAI and SafeFood have developed a webinar which will be available in 2023. The SafeFood project with Ulster University will be reported in September 2023.
Barn Eggs/Avian Flu
Colm O’Bric gave a presentation on marketing standards and housing orders to the Group. It was noted in the presentation that ‘organic’ and ‘free range’ are protected terms and cannot be used together on labels. Colm reported that the EU will bring in a ban to stop enriched caged eggs in approx. 2027 and urged the Retailers to discuss this with their Producers/Packers as soon as possible as they will need notice and significant investment. FSAI has circulated an advice note regarding the sale of defrosted poultry meat.
Rob shared FSAI guidance on this topic and it was noted that the reusable cup is very popular with consumers however there is a need for consumer education.
FSAI and SafeFood are working on an education piece for consumers. The Group suggested the information piece also include guidance for shop owners on how to deal with consumers with dirty cups and a health & safety piece (regarding size of cup/overflow). FSAI welcomed any further comments after the meeting.
The Ukraine crisis and was discussed and Rob noted that the labelling flexibilities have been in place for over 6 months, industry representations haven’t increased and there may be a pinch point in the supply of oils in early 2023. There were also exercises undertaken on crisis response planning and this highlighted the need for changes e.g. the lab capabilities need to be increased. FSAI has met with the CO² suppliers regarding the availability and cost of carbon dioxide. The suppliers reported this was due to reduced capacity because of the cost of production.
FSAI will reflect and review the current flexibilities in place in Qtr 1 in 2023.
There is an EU Commission meeting on the 6th December and Ukraine is scheduled as an agenda item for an exchange of updates from Member States. The EU Commission is looking for a harmonised approach to the crisis.
FSAI to report back to the Group following the EU Commission meeting.
FSAI is developing further response planning which will include media responses and food safety information for consumers.
Rob asked Retailers to contact us if they are experiencing difficulties sourcing CO².
The Food Safety Consultative Council (FSCC) meets regularly and holds 1 open meeting per year. At the recent open meeting the topic of online food delivery was discussed. There were interesting presentations from Deliveroo, Man O Drones and Drop Chef.
Reformulation Task Force
Nuala Collins updated the group on the Reformulation Task Force and reported that according to CSO data in 2016 2.2 million people were living with weight or obese. A recent survey has suggested that 20% of people feel like they have gained weight in Covid. The Reformulation Task Force has 40 priority food categories and own brands make up 50% of the products in this group. Nuala reported that 89% of consumers support Government working with Industry to improve the nutritional content of food.
Nuala encouraged the group to engage with the food reformulation network and to sign up for regular updates: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- There is a Teagasc Working on the 2nd December which will be attended by 5 major retailers, however Nuala welcomed more attendees.
- The following address can be used to sign up for regular updates: email@example.com.
Mary Lenahan reported that the Survey of the microbiological quality of chilled and frozen coated poultry meat preparations and poultry meat products intended to be eaten cooked concluded on the 18th November 2022 and of the 400 samples, 5 were positive and of these 4 recalls were issued. FSAI is awaiting official data from the labs which is expects in early 2023.
Salmonella Infantis Report
The Salmonella Infantis report will be published end 2023.
Mary informed the Group that the EU Commission will change the criteria in the legislation. FSAI attends the meetings and the and the last meeting was held in December 2021. FSAI hasn’t received any texts and there hasn’t been any approach to Member States on this topic. The next working Group meeting is scheduled for Qtr 1 in 2023 and FSAI will update the Retail Forum of any changes.
Guidance Note 18 Rev 5
Guidance Note 18 - Validation of Product has been revised and is available on the FSAI website https://www.fsai.ie/publications_GN18_shelf-life/
The Group asked whether FSAI would be providing guidance or training on this issue. FSAI reported this legislation will be enacted in December 2023 and Retailers need to prepare.
- This item to be on the March 2023 agenda.
- FSAI to discuss possibility or training or guidance with DAFM (who also have responsibility for the legislation).
- Retailers to send feedback to FSAI by email.
Retailers asked whether it’s possible for Manufacturers to provide product detail and barcode when recalls are issued as it takes away ambiguity.
- Rob to forward this request to the Incident Manager.
Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will take place in early March 2023.