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Retail Forum - 30th June 2015

Minutes of the Retail Forum 30th June 2015

TIME: 10:00


Lisa O’Connor, FSAI (LO’C) [Chair]
Elaine Clohosey, BWG Foods (EC)
Shane Lyster, IBEC (SL)
Selena Burke, ADM Londis (SB)
Lynda Kenny, Musgrave (LK)
Sarah Wood, Aldi (SW)
Peter Wight, Marks & Spencer, (PW)
Aoife Harrison, Lidl (LH)
Peter Jackson, Barry’s Wholesalers (PJ)
Mary McDonald, Topaz (MMcD)
Ray Bowe, Musgraves (RB)
Pauline Ryall, Tesco, (PR)
Trish Twohig, Iceland (TT)


Eileen Lippert, FSAI (EL)
Dorothy Guina Dornan, FSAI (DGD)
John Howard, Sunnyside Fruit, (JH)
Kevin Sheridan, Sheridan’s Cheesemongers (KS)
Shane Dempsey, Food and Drink Ireland, (SD)


Rob McEvoy, Topaz (RMcE)
Tracy McDermott, Tesco (TMcD)
Jennie Smith, Dunnes Stores (JS)
Jonathan Halls, Boots (JH)
Suzanne Cullen, Musgrave (SC)
Lucy Magner, Pallas Foods (LM)
Denise Lord, Gala, (DL)

Microbiological Safety of Imported Frozen Berries

Noted: John Howard was welcomed to the meeting and introduced to the members. LO’C outlined the recent international outbreaks which led to FSAI reiterated its advice to boil imported frozen berries. The following was discussed:

  • The importance of good agricultural practices and good hygiene practices in preventing microbiological contamination of imported frozen berries
  • The value of microbiological testing and its shortcoming in terms of guaranteeing the safety of food.
  • The importance of detailed traceability data in the event of an outbreak and concerns about the potential commercial sensitivity in providing supplier information to customers.

Consistency of Private Audits – Kevin Sheridan, FSAI Artisan Forum

Noted: Kevin Sheridan was welcomed to the meeting and introduced to the members. He explained that he was representing FSAI’s Artisan Forum which has been hearing about the experiences that some small artisan producers are having when they supply some supermarkets. He outlined that some of the audits that suppliers have to undergo are inefficient and expensive for small producers. He suggested that it might be useful for retailers to agree on a single audit for use with small artisan producers. He referred to two existing systems – the UK based SALSA system and Safe and Legal. The matter was discussed and retailers shared some of the issues that they find when carrying out audits. It was also noted that many artisans don’t properly understand/own their food safety management systems due to the fact that they employed a consultant to create it and in some cases these systems are overly complicated.

Agree Minutes of 19 March 2015

Agreed: The minutes were agreed subject to some amendments.

Action: Members were in favour of meetings of this forum starting at the earlier time of 10:30

Matters Arising

Campylobacter follow-up

Action: Some of the matters arising will be discussed at the next meeting as some of the relevant members were unable to attend today’s meeting.


Action: The OPSON report is not yet ready, but in the meanwhile EL will circulate some case studies to the members for information.


Noted: It was clarified that the EC was going to publish a Q&A about gluten, but have now decided against this.


Noted: The recent work PJOM carried out on the use of the term ‘butter’ has raised some further issues with spreads. PJOM will be in contact with the members in the future.

Presentation on FDII’s Health Strategy

Noted: Shane Dempsey was introduced to the members. He gave a presentation which dealt with:

  • The role of Food and Drink Industry Ireland (FDII)
  • Obesity as a key challenge
  • The FDII Health Strategy objectives and five pillars
  • Industry participation
  • Reformulation initiatives in place
  • FDII/Creme Global’s analysis on:
    • reduction in levels of nutrients sold between 2005 -2012
    • impact on the daily intakes of 5 nutrients in the Irish population
  • Timelines
  • National workplace wellbeing day
  • Events in 2015
  • Invitation to members to participate in some of the initiatives.

Action: EL will send a copy of the presentation to the members.
Action: Members were encouraged to contact SL or SD in order to find out more about participating in some of the initiatives.

UCC and Teagasc Alliance – Ray Bowe

Noted: RB gave a presentation on the UCC/Teagasc Food innovation alliance. He dealt with:

  • When and why it was established
  • The main objectives
  • The three thematic areas:
    • Food and Health
    • Food Science and Technology
    • Food and the Consumer
  • The development and application of a number of horizontal technologies.

Action: EL will email the presentation to the members.

Action: Members were invited to suggest areas of research for consideration by the Alliance to

Update on Campylobacter

Noted: LOC thanked the members for their submissions on safe handling instructions for chicken with regard to not washing. She outlined the examples of text received.

Agreed: All the members agreed on the text ‘DO NOT WASH’ and that it should be used on chicken portions as well as whole birds.

Noted/Action: Following the Ministerial meeting on the issue of Campylobacter a Steering Group has been established and will meet on 2 July. FSAI to pass on the contact details to the meeting organisers of the Retail Forum members that had not yet received an invitation.

Information Sharing

Noted: Nobody had anything to share. Members are welcome to contact the FSAI directly if they had any concerns.


Court ruling on labelling

Action: A recent court ruling on labelling will be circulated to the members.

Date of Next Meeting

Action: EL will circulate a doodle poll with for a potential meeting in October.