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Retail Forum Meeting - 21st February 2013

Minutes of the Retail Forum Meeting 21st February 2013

TIME: 11.00 am



Lisa O’Connor, FSAI (LO’C) [Chair]
Allan Davies, Tesco (AD)
Peter Wight, Marks & Spencer (PW)
Suzanne Cullen, Superquinn/Musgrave (SC)
Elaine Clohosey, BWG Foods (EC)
Rosaleen Fagan, Musgraves (RF)
Aoife Harrison, Lidl (AH)
Lisa Cassidy, Lidl (LC)
Paula McGrath, Aldi (PMcG)
Selena Burke, ADM Londis (SMcA)
Lynda Kenny, Musgrave (LK)
Mary Daly, Dunne’s Stores (MD)
Sonya Boyce, IBEC (SB)


Gail Carroll, FSAI (GC)
Wayne Anderson, FSAI (WA)


Denise Lord, Gala Retail Services (DL)
Rob McEvoy, Topaz (RMcE)
Stuart Challenor, Tesco (SC)
Trish Twohig, Iceland (TT)
Dorothy Guina Dornan, FSAI (DGD)


Eileen Lippert (EL)

New Members

Noted: The new members from Lidl were welcomed to the Forum. LO’C informed members that Trish Twohig of Iceland is another new member, but unfortunately could not attend today.

Agree Minutes of Meeting of 8 November 2012

Agreed: The minutes were agreed without amendment.

Matters arising

Letter about Campylobacter

Action: This is still outstanding and LO’C will follow up with Ray Ellard.

Access to results of sampling

Action: DGD and GC have not yet had the opportunity to raise the issue with the HSE.

Campylobacter Update

LO’C updated the members on the research planned in the Campylobacter FIRM funded project. She explained that an introductory leaflet about the project has been produced and will be emailed to the members. She elaborated that the main focus of the research is on biosecurity. It was confirmed that the FIRM project is focussing on mass produced poultry and not free range and/or organic poultry.

FSAI is liaising with Bord Bia to strengthen biosecurity requirements in its poultry quality assurance scheme and training is expected to follow.

LO’C also referred to a recent European Commission cost benefit analysis on control measures for Campylobacter in the poultry food chain. Improved farm biosecurity and best practice hygiene at the slaughter plant were identified as the most cost-effective measures, which are currently available and can be implemented widely. Members were encouraged to contact their suppliers to find out what measures they have been taking to reduce the levels of Campylobacter.

There was a query about crust-freezing (also called rapid surface chilling) and some discussion followed about this.

Actions: Leaflet about Campylobacter FIRM project to be emailed to members.

EL to circulate the Commission’s Campylobacter cost benefit analysis. Members to identify what measures suppliers are taking.

LO’C to consult with DAFM colleagues regarding crust-freezing.


LO’C updated members who were unable to attend the briefing meeting between FSAI and the Retail and Food Service Forums. LO’C reiterated FSAI’s call for industry to submit results of DNA testing and explained the 1% limit being used. Members were reminded to send in any additional comments on the draft DNA testing protocol by 10:00 the next day. The importance of information sharing was stressed and discussed. There were some queries about future FSAI surveys. Retailers wondered if they could receive advance notice of when sampling will take place.

Action: LO’C will discuss the request to notify members in advance of sampling that will be carried out in their premises with FSAI management.

Information sharing/potential emerging risks will be a standing item on the agenda of the Retail Forum.

Restrictions on Use of Complex Equipment

Complex equipment is the term given to items of equipment that can be very difficult to clean. This may be because it is hard to access all parts of the equipment or because it is made up of a number of small parts and surfaces may not be smooth or easy to clean. Such equipment includes vacuum packing machines, meat slicers, food mixers and mincing machines.

During the revision of the Safe Catering pack in 2012, the FSAI reviewed its opinion on the dual use of complex equipment for raw and ready-to-eat foods. FSAI’s current position is that complex equipment used for ready-to-eat food should never be used for raw food.

Action: Members to ensure that they are not using complex equipment for raw and ready-to-eat foods

LO’C will write an article on the subject for the FSAI newsletter to highlight this change in FSAI’s position.

Food Information for Consumers (FIC) Regulation

There was a query about the legal requirement to label kilojoules in addition to calories. LO’C clarified that the FIC Regulation requires the energy value to be given both in kilojoules and in kilocalories. However, in the case of the Irish Calories on Menus initiative, FSAI is not requiring kilojoules to be labelled as it is a voluntary public health initiative.

There was also some discussion about applying the new legislation before its official start time and whether an organisation that did this would be seen as not complying with existing legislation as some of the new requirements conflict with the current legislation.

Action: LO’C will consult with DK about the early application of the FIC Regulation. She will also check the situation regarding GDA labelling and if there will be any further country of origin labelling.

Legislation Update

A copy of the legislation update was distributed to the members and an electronic version will also be circulated.



LO’C discussed expansion of the membership to include more wholesalers. The members had no objection as long as the group did not become too large and unwieldy and should this happen; it might be worth setting up a separate forum for this sector.

Action: FSAI to invite Pallas Foods to nominate a representative to join the Forum.

FSAI minutes

A member queried if the Forum minutes could be circulated faster. FSAI agreed to try but explained that due to decreasing resources this has become more challenging and suggested that members should make a note of any actions they needed to carry out.

Press releases

Members are satisfied with the current system with regards to receiving press releases and updates from EL, even though they are also signed up to FSAI’s automatic notification system.

EHOs and Consistency

One of the members commented on the differences she is experiencing with EHOs where some officers are more helpful and give more advice than others.

Action: The member who raised this issue to email the details to EL who will pass it to the relevant person in the FSAI.

Dates for Meetings in 2013

The next meeting will take place on 23 May 2013 at 11:00 in the FSAI.