Minutes of the Retail Forum 8th November 2016
Lisa O’Connor, FSAI (LO’C) [Chair]
Sarah Wood, Aldi (SW)
Aoife Harrison, Lidl (LH)
Lynda Kenny, Musgrave (LK)
Trish Twohig, Iceland (TT)
Denise Lord, Gala, (DL)
Rob McEvoy, Topaz (RMcE)
Elizabeth Bowen, Retail Ireland, (EB)
Patrick Carter, M&S, (PC)
Sharon Murphy, Barrys Group (SM)
Louise O’Farrell, Tesco, (LOF)
Elaine Clohosey, BWG (EC)
Eileen Lippert, FSAI (EL)
Dorothy Guina Dornan, FSAI (DGD)
Gail Carroll, FSAI, (GC)
Finbar Brown, DAFM (FB)
Finbarr O’Regan, DAFM (FOR)
Christina Tlustos, FSAI (CT)
Jonathan Halls, Boots (JH)
Mary Daly, Dunnes Stores (MD)
Suzanne Cullen, Musgrave (SC)
Ray Bowe, Musgrave (RB)
Peter Wight, Marks and Spencer, (PW)
Gareth Coburn, Pallas Foods, (GC)
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS
Noted: As there were a number of new faces at the meeting, all present were invited to briefly introduce themselves.
CHLORINATED WASHING OF FRESH PRODUCE – FINBAR BROWN, DAFM
Noted: Dr Finbar Brown of the Pesticide Controls Division of the Department of Agriculture was introduced and welcomed. He gave a presentation on the current situation in relation to maximum residue levels (MRLs) for chlorates. His main points included:
- Applicable legislation
- Relevant EFSA opinions
- Initial MRL proposals
- Sources of chlorates
- Chemical alternatives
- Research and advice
- The way forward
Noted: The presentation was followed by several questions which included:
- An elaboration on alternatives to chlorates
- The best way of using chlorate (advice available on Teagasc website)
- New methods of analyses
- Views on using chlorinated washes at retail level
Noted: FSAI is not recommending any change to the status quo.
Noted: CT advised the members of test results of fruit/vegetables juices. Some juices, in particular cold pressed vegetable juices (such as kale and similar) were found to contain excessive levels. She added that there is no immediate concern, however, since the Irish population is not deficient in iodine, a prerequisite to chlorate toxicity. She also expressed a need for more data, especially on commodities such as juices.
UPDATE ON GUIDANCE ON FRESH PRODUCE
Noted: LOC notified the members of this updated guidance (FSAI GN31) and the fact that it is available on the FSAI website. A copy of the leaflet on the subject was distributed to the members at the meeting.
Noted: On the issue of chlorpyrifos in raisins, members were advised that the new lower MRL came into force on 10th August 2016 ((Commission Regulation (EU) No 2016/60) and breaches of the MRL will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
AGREE MINUTES OF MEETING OF 30 JUNE 2016
Agreed: The minutes were agreed without amendment.
Action: Some clips from a recent promotion of MenuCal by Catherine Fulvio will be circulated to the members for information.
Advance Notice of Alerts and Press Releases
Noted: The members were advised by LOC that it will be logistically impossible to provide advance notice of alerts/press releases to the members. Members were encouraged to subscribe to press releases and food alerts on www.fsai.ie/subscribe
UPDATE ON CAMPYLOBACTER
Noted: Members of the National Stakeholder Group on Campylobacter gave an update on the progress. It was noted that testing results have been collated by the secretariat to the group. LOC gave a short update on the EU draft legislation introducing a process hygiene criterion for Campylobacter in poultry at the end of slaughter. It is expected to come into force in September 2017.
Action: Members will enquire when the final stakeholder report will be presented to the Minister.
Action: Members were asked to confirm if their chicken suppliers are removing neck flaps. Members to email EL.
HOT FOOD FOR CONSUMPTION ON DAY OF PURCHASE
Noted: This is a query that came via the Enforcement Consistency Working Group and LOC elaborated on it. It was stated that some organisations use the advice of “use within 90 minutes” on their packaging and the FSAI is in agreement with this advice.
Noted: One of the members requested some advice on a practice that he has observed which involves bagging up food from the hot counter at the end of the day and leaving the food at ambient temperature for an unknown length of time.
Noted: FSAI confirmed that the above practice is outside recommended best practice and has the potential to result in food that is unsafe to eat.
Noted: LOC gave a short presentation to the members to make them aware of the current situation in relation to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The main points of the presentation included:
- Antimicrobial resistance is not about superbugs, but about people’s behaviours
- The need to reduce use –in both humans and animals – through more prudent use by:
- agreeing goals, with incentives/penalties
- education and training
- safe disposal of unused antibiotics
- national prescribing guidelines for vets
- improved diagnostics
- Improved surveillance of antibiotic use, based on actual use rather than sales
- Improved surveillance of AMR at pre and post-harvest stages of food chain; in food of animal and non-animal origin and in imported and domestic food.
- Some recent national and international measures/responses
- Estimated potential deaths from AMR in 2050 expected to overtake those caused by cancer if action is not taken.
Action: EL will email the presentation and a link to the WHO newsletter on AMR to the members. Members, who have sustainability programmes/strategies, were asked to make the relevant people aware. Members were asked to check what policies their suppliers have around prudent use of antibiotics.
INFORMATION SHARING/POTENTIAL EMERGING SAFETY/FRAUD RISKS
Noted: Some issues of concern to the members were discussed and these included:
- Coliforms in water
- C278 – the new Commission guidance of food safety management systems (GHP/PRPs and procedures based on the HACCP principles
- Fly activity in stores and increased rodent activity.
Action: DGD will discuss the coliform issue with relevant EHOs.
Noted: There was no correspondence.
Noted: The Slovakian Presidency has prepared a questionnaire in order to get more information regarding the quantification of food waste and preventing food waste. The conclusions will be presented on the opening of the Food Waste Platform on 29/11/16. The FSAI asked if members separated their food waste. Some members separate raw and cooked waste and for others the waste collector carries out the separation for the retailer. Another retailer mentioned separating fats, oils and, APB, pasta and pastries.
Action: FSAI has updated its level three training document and a copy of this will be circulated to the members. Members were also updated on the progress of the QQI projects from the previous year. The EHAI list of trainers was discussed.
FIC for loose meat
Noted: This is still in draft form and is at the consultation phase.
HACCP Flexibility/Food Safety Management Systems
Noted: LOC gave a presentation on the new document highlighting the main changes between it and the Commission’s 2007 guidance document on HACCP.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Action: EL will circulate a doodle poll in order to arrange the next meeting.