Skip to main content

Retail Forum Meeting - 6th June 2013

Minutes of the Retail Forum Meeting - 6th June 2013

TIME: 11:00



Lisa O’Connor, FSAI (LO’C) [Chair]                                    
Allan Davies, Tesco (AD)
Nicholas Martin, Marks & Spencer (NM)
Elaine Clohosey, BWG Foods (EC)
Rosaleen Fagan, Musgraves (RF)                                           
Aoife Harrison, Lidl (AH)
Paula McGrath, Aldi (PMcG)
Mary Daly, Dunne’s Stores (MD)
Sonya Boyce, IBEC (SB)
Denise Lord, Gala Retail Services (DL)
Rob McEvoy, Topaz (RMcE)
Stuart Challenor, Tesco (SC)
Roseanne Regan (RGDATA) (RR)


Gail Carroll, FSAI (GC)
Wayne Anderson, FSAI (WA)
Dorothy Guina Dornan, FSAI (DGD)
Eileen Lippert, FSAI, (EL)
Kate de Salis, Aldi (KdS)
Patrick Flavin, IBEC (PF)
Colm O’Bric, DAFM (CO’B)
Carol Heavey, FSAI (CH)
Deirdre Kennedy, FSAI (DK)


Peter Jackson, Barry’s Wholesalers (PJ)
Trish Twohig, Iceland (TT)
Peter Wight, Marks & Spencer (PW)
Suzanne Cullen, Superquinn/Musgrave (SC)
Selena Burke, ADM Londis (SMcA)
Lynda Kenny, Musgrave (LK)
Orla McKeever, Lidl (OMcK)
Ray Bowe, Musgraves, (RB)

New Members

Noted: New members and alternates were welcomed and introduced themselves to the meeting.

Agree Minutes of Meeting of 21 February 2013

Agreed: The minutes were agreed without amendment.

Matters arising

Letter about Campylobacter

Action: This is still outstanding for LO’C

Access to results of sampling

Noted: LO’C explained that individual premises receive the results of samples taken by EHOs.


Noted: LO’C consulted with DAFM colleagues about this and while the legal limit is that the poultry meat cannot go below -2oC, the UK FSA seminar on Campylobacter in March indicated that research on rapid chilling, which stayed within this limit, resulted in reduction of Campylobacter.


Noted: LO’C summarised the results of the official control testing for horsemeat and spoke about the EU action plan.   

Action: EL will circulate the EU action plan to the members for information.

Food Information for Consumers Regulation

Noted: FSAI confirmed that retailers may start operating the new FIC rules once it is not in direct conflict with the current legislation.

Action: An email outlining the area of conflict will be sent to the members.

Action: DK and LO’C will consult with colleagues regarding GDA and reference intake and revert to MD and other members about this.  This issue is not due for discussion at EU for another two meetings.

Calories on menus

Noted: LO’C provided a short update on the progress of this initiative.  Evaluation reports are in the process of being written up and they will be circulated to members when published.  Meanwhile, DL had a query and she will contact MF in FSAI directly.

Revision of Guidance on Storage of Eggs at Retail Level

Noted: CH introduced CO’B from DAFM and circulated the Guidance for Retailers selling hen eggs in retail premises.  She explained the background to the issue and CO’B elaborated on this and went through the new draft document and sought the feedback of the members.

The main issues that were highlighted were:

  • Eggs should not be stored in fridges at retail level;
  • Hen eggs should be kept at a constant ambient temperature.
  • Eggs should be refrigerated in the home.
  • Legal information should be in bold;
  • Hard copies of the guidance should be made available;
  • Two versions of the guidance to be made available – one for retailers’ internal training and another consumer note.  Questions and answers would also be very useful.
  • The guidance should be circulated to the HSE who in turn will distribute it to agents such as milkmen, etc.

Action: If members have any more comments on the guidance, please circulate to EL within two weeks of receiving the updated guidance.  

Action: CO’B and CH will make the amendments as discussed and circulate to the members, via EL for final sign-off.

Labelling of €/kg Pricing of Poultry meat

Noted: CO’B explained the background to this issue which has arisen following an FVO audit. In the case of fresh pre-packaged poultrymeat being sold at retail level, the price per unit weight (€/kg) must appear on the pre-packaging or on a label attached to the pre-packaging.

Action: CO’B will send an email about this to the members via EL.

Noted: The issue of gas flushed chicken was raised and discussed. 

Action: EL will re-circulate a copy of the fact sheet on gas flushed chicken to members for information.

Noted: CO’B also confirmed to the members that DAFM poultry inspectors have the authority to destroy any poultry meat that is labelled incorrectly for country of origin.

Review of Regulation 882

Noted: GC from the FSAI gave a presentation outlining the main points pertaining to the retailers of the reviewed Regulation 882.  These included:

  • It’s part of a package of legislation proposals from the EC;
  • The general objectives of the new proposed rules;
  • “Risk basis” controls, combat of fraud;
  • Better financing of official controls;
  • Possibility of mandatory fees for inspections;
  • Exemptions;
  • Next steps;

Noted: Discussions took place after the presentation about some of the issues raised, mainly the mandatory fees.  The system in New Zealand was referred to – they charge non-compliers more in fees that those who do comply.  The need for consistent enforcement was stressed also and the importance of a template for audits/inspections.  There were many queries about what is defined as official controls and what is official activity, etc. 

Agreed: Many issues still need to be teased and ironed out.  There will be a consultation on the proposed regulation and members were urged to send comments when the consultation is launched.

Action: A copy of the presentation will be emailed to the members. Also EL will email a copy of GN 1 (Guidance for the Health Service Executive on the Inspection of Food Businesses) for information to the members.

Information Sharing/Potential Emerging Risks

Noted: This will be a standing item on the agenda for this forum as a result of the recent joint Food Service and Retail Forum meeting on horsemeat.  The issue of food fraud was flagged as a cause for concern. Listeria monocytogenes was also raised as an on-going area of concern.  In particular if an ingredient in a product with a shelf life of less than 5 days contains L. monocytogenes it could result in the limit of 100 cfu/g being exceeded. 

Action: EL will circulate the recent Commission guidance on swabbing surfaces for L. monocytogenes to the members.

Noted: The increased demand for infant formula in the Far East was raised as an area of concern.

Action: EL to circulate EFSA link to emerging risks to the members.  Also, reference was made to a cross-sector, cross-governmental groups on emerging risks in the UK called ERCF (Emerging Risks Consultative Forum) and LO’C will flag this with WA.

Legislation Update

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



Noted: LO’C highlighted the very high number of enforcement orders (19) issued in May

Allergens and FIC

Noted: One of the members raised the issue of allergen labelling of loose foods.  LO’C noted that it is the subject of a public consultation, following which the Department of Health will draft national legislation.

Workshop on Campylobacter

Action: LO’C referred to an upcoming workshop on Campylobacter that Safefood is organising.  EL will email details to the members.

Dates for Meetings in 2013

Action: EL will circulate a doodle poll with potential dates for the next meeting.