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Retail Forum - 5th June 2019

Minutes of the Retail Forum 5th June 2019


  • Dorothy Guina-Dornan (Chair) FSAI
  • Alison Connor FSAI
  • Lisa O’Connor FSAI
  • Elaine Madden FSAI
  • Joseph Hannon FSAI (agenda item 4)
  • Carol Heavey FSAI (agenda item 9)
  • AnneMarie Boland FSAI (agenda items 1-3)
  • Maria Meghan FSAI (agenda items 1-3)
  • Sin√©ad O’Mahony FSAI (agenda item 9)
  • Gareth Coburn Pallas Foods
  • Ben McGinn Gala
  • Stacy Forsyth Circle K
  • Rachel Moran Avoca
  • Katie Creamer Aldi
  • Aoife Harrison Lidl
  • Peter Wight M&S
  • Aisling McGough Tesco
  • Lynda Kenny Musgraves
  • Sharon Murphy Barrys
  • Tara Buckley RGDATA
  • Caroline O’Connor Gala
  • Elaine Clohosey BWG
  • Stephen Browne Retail Ireland


  • Ray Bowe Musgraves
  • Jonathon Halls Boots

An updated agenda was tabled and agreed. DGD apologised for deferring the February meeting. A Special Meeting of the Retail Forum was held on 6th March dedicated to BREXIT.

1. Agree Minutes of the meeting 13th November 2018

The minutes were agreed and will be uploaded onto the FSAI website.

2. Matters Arising

There were no matters arising that were not included in the agenda.


AMB gave a short presentation outlining FSAI activity in preparation for BREXIT and reported that the FSAI website has up to date information available. The FSAI welcomed any suggestions as to how we can reach out to smaller FBOs. A ‘checklist’ for Retailers was suggested and the FSAI is exploring if it’s feasible to capture the legislative requirements of different food types in one simple list e.g. food of animal origin, food of non-animal origin, high risk foods etc.
Noted: Small FBOs importing from Northern Ireland are having issues because they are consistently hearing the message that there won’t be a hard border. FSAI has flagged this as an issue with the Department of the Taoiseach. Regarding the use of the EU health mark after the date of withdrawal, the European Commission EU food law notice indicates that there won’t be any flexibility regarding its use after the date of withdrawal.

Noted: Products ‘placed on the market’ prior to the withdrawal date can remain on the EU market.
Action: FSAI to circulate a note on ‘placed on the market’.
Update: This was circulated to Retail Forum members on 21/6/2019

4. 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 has been working on a guidance document to facilitate implementation. This guidance document is expected to be published online shortly. The FSAI is developing a guidance document which will be published after the EU guidance document. The FSAI guidance document will focus on smaller food business operators.

Action: FSAI to circulate the updated Food Drink Europe Acrylamide Toolbox.
Update: Information circulated to the Retail Forum members on 6/6/2019

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

5. Country of origin labelling

FSAI was asked to table country of origin labelling on the agenda in the context of compliance with Article 26(3) of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/775. In light of these new Regulations, FSAI was asked for its opinion on whether foods from Ireland which contain primary ingredients from Northern Ireland should contain such an indication. An example cited was yogurt made in the Republic of Ireland using milk from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. As the primary ingredient (milk) is not all from the Republic of Ireland, should it be labelled as ‘Produced in Ireland with milk from [Republic of] Ireland and Northern Ireland’ or ‘Produced in Ireland with milk from [Republic of] Ireland and the United Kingdom’?

Regulation (EU) 2018/775 laying down the rules for the application of Article 26(3) of Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 as regards the rules for indicating the country of origin or place of provenance of the primary ingredient of a food applies from 1st April 2020. Foods labelled or marketed prior to 1st April 2020 can continue to be marketed until stocks are exhausted.

This Regulation only applies where the country of origin or place of provenance of a food is given by any means such as statements, pictorial presentation, symbols or terms i.e. if its not called ‘Irish’ yogurt then this Regulation does not apply.

Article 2 of the Regulation sets out the indication of the country of origin or place of provenance of the primary ingredient(s) which must be used where it is not the same as that of the final food. It can be indicated either by reference to the geographical area or by means of a statement indicating that the primary ingredient does not originate from the country of origin or place of provenance of the food or similar wording. There are six options for referencing the geographical area.

Based on Article 2 and the draft EU guidance, FSAI advised that from 1st April 2020 where the primary ingredient(s) originate from more than one EU member State, it will be necessary to reference the geographical area of both Member States i.e. Ireland and the United Kingdom as per Article 2(a)(iv) or as ‘EU’ per Article 2(a)(i). FSAI is also of the view that it would be acceptable to qualify the description of the member State by using the term ‘United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)’.

FSAI was asked what will be required in the event of a no deal BREXIT. FSAI replied that while we cannot comment on what may happen in the event of a no-deal BREXIT at this stage, if the UK becomes a third country it would more likely be the case that based on Article 2, as currently written and the draft EU guidelines, the geographical indication would then have to be ‘EU and non-EU’.

Article 2 does not explicitly provide for the combination of a Member State and a region e.g. Ireland and Northern Ireland. Neither does it provide for the referencing of a Member State and a third country e.g. Ireland and Turkey, only a Member State or a third country.

FSAI was also asked if the same requirements would apply in respect of an ingredient associated with the food e.g. strawberry yogurt. In FSAI’s opinion the same would apply if the ingredient fell within the definition of primary ingredient (defined in Article 2(2)(q) of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011).

There was some discussion on this with various opinions expressed. Some members said that the island of Ireland could / should be considered as a region. Some members are following the BRC guidance. The European Commission is drafting guidance, but it hasn’t been finalised yet. FSAI advised that it may need to seek further clarification. Members asked for clear guidance from FSAI regarding what ‘Irish’ means in the context of Regulation (EU) 2018/775.

Update: Further to this, there has been discussion between IBEC, Dairy Industry Ireland and FSAI. FSAI is seeking clarification on this matter.

DGD informed the Forum that Clodagh Crehan has recently taken over from Anne Marie Boland as Senior Technical Executive, Regulatory Affairs. Clodagh is now the contact in the FSAI for labelling queries.

6. Campylobacter – update from the Stakeholder Group

The Stakeholder Group has agreed to run a campaign for the first World Food Safety Day being held this year. It will be launched by the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Health. The campaign theme, agreed at a special meeting of the FSAI Retail Forum with safefood, will be ‘Don’t wash raw chicken’. This campaign was run by safefood in 2015 and it was agreed that it was timely to rerun the campaign with the involvement of the Stakeholder Group. Retailers have availed of the material designed by safefood. Three retailers are advertising on trolley handles, one has point of sale material and safefood are leading with social media advertising. The next meeting of the Stakeholder Group is on the 19th June 2019.

7. Antimicrobial Resistance

LOC gave an update on the Irish National Action Plan. She asked for clarification on the company names to be used in the Statement of Intent document.
Action: Retailers to review the ‘Statement of Intent’ and revert to FSAI with comments.

LOC mentioned the following documents as being potentially useful to the Retailers in meeting the Statement of Intent when auditing suppliers:
• DAFM Policy on Highest Priority Critically Important Antimicrobials (this opens in a new tab)
• Code of Good Practice Regarding the Responsible Prescribing & Use of ABs in Farm Animals
She highlighted the publication of the first Irish One Health Report on Antimicrobial Use & Antimicrobial Resistance

Action: Retailers to circulate documents to relevant colleagues involved in supplier audits

8. World Food Safety Day

World Food Safety Day is Friday 7th June. BWG mentioned that in addition to the not washing chicken campaign discussed above they are running in-store competitions to raise awareness on food safety in general.

9. FSAI Updates

a) Reformulation to provide healthier options and improve overall diet quality

FSAI will carry out research with UCD into the availability of healthy foods and non-alcoholic beverages. FSAI is developing the scope at the moment and will engage with stakeholders in due course.

b) MenuCal

SOM gave an update on the MenuCal user experience research. 95% of users found it very easy to use and the majority suggested it should be better promoted. FSAI has run a promotions campaign in April/May 2019 and will run it again in Oct/Nov 2019. There are regular minor software updates to the system.

The Allergen Declarations on Non-Prepacked Food Working Group has met twice and is working on how best FSAI can support industry.

c) Update to Safe Catering Pack

The Safe Catering Pack is being updated to include a section on acrylamide and allergens. The document will be available in the next few months and FSAI will update the Group when it is published. FSAI will consider a publicity campaign. The UK did a ‘Go for Gold’ campaign which was well received. The new changes will be made available on the FSAI website. FSAI will advertise when the pack is updated and EHOs will be proactive in letting FBO’s know it’s updated.

d) Update to Regulation 2017/625

FSAI is attending EU working group meetings on Regulation (EU) 2017/625. The current focus is on the implementing and delegated acts for import controls. There is a Steering Group between DAFM, DoH and FSAI which meets regularly.

e) Allergen information requirements for foods sold loose in other Member States

EM provided an update on information gathered through the EFSA focal point network. FSAI asked Member States what national rules if any they had in place for the requirement to provide allergen information for sold loose in their country. Under Regulation (EU) 1169/2013 the manner in which the mandatory information on foods sold loose has to be presented is a matter for national rules.

Action: EM to circulate a summary of the information gathered to the Retail Forum members. Please see attached by way of summary.

 Allergen information requirements for foods sold loose in other member states

10. Date for meetings 2019

The next meeting will take place on the 12th September 2019.
Update: Meeting confirmed for 17th September 2019.

11. AOB

There was no other business.