Minutes of the FSAI Artisan Forum Meeting - 23rd April 2010

23rd April 2010 - FSAI Board Room
11.00 – 14.00


  • Wayne Anderson, FSAI (WA), Chair
  • Darina Allen, Ballymaloe Cookery School, (DA)
  • Raymond O’Rourke, Taste Council, (RO’R)
  • Dave Lang, ACBI (DL)
  • Graham Hall, Irish Beekeepers Association (GH)


  • Caroline Robinson, Farmers’ Market Stallholder (CR)
  • Anthony Cresswell, Ummera Smokery (AC)
  • Frank Hederman, Belvelly Smoking (FH)
  • David Llewellyn, Fruit of the Vine (DL)
  • Jim Buckley, Cork Co. Co. (JB)
  • Michael Woulfe, Beekeeper ([MW])
  • Martina Clarke, IASC (MC)
  • Isobel Fletcher, LEADER (IF)
  • Esther Barron, Barron’s Bakery (EB)
  • Sally Barnes, (SB)
  • Jeffa Gill, Durrus Cheese, (JG)
  • Mary Burns, Ardrahan Cheese (and CAIS), (MB)
  • Kevin Sheridan, Durrus Cheese (KS)
  • Bridie Terry, Irish Beekeepers Association (MG)
  • John Brennan, Leitrim Co. Co. (JB)
  • Myrtle Allen, Ballymaloe House, (MA)
  • Declan Ryan, Arbutus Breads, (DR)
  • Paul Fletcher, Premier Game (PF)
  • Donal Lehane, Lehane Food (DL)

In Attendance

  • Oonagh Eustace, FSAI (OE)
  • John Matthews, FSAI (JM)
  • Dorothy Guina Dornan, FSAI (DGD)
  • Tim Camon, FSAI (TC)
  • Lisa O’Connor, FSAI (LOC)
  • Anne Marie Boland, FSAI (AMB)
  • Donal O’Mahony, FSAI (DOM)
  • Pat Daly, Teagasc (PD)

1. Agree Minutes of Meeting of 6 November 2009

Agreed: The minutes were agreed without amendment.

2. Matters Arising

Action: DA sent material/information regarding use of raw milk from WHO to FSAI.

Noted: TC gave members information on the Deer Association – Wild Deer Management issue that was raised at the last meeting. There are no courses for trained deer hunters or wild game available in Ireland. However, some courses are available in the UK. There are plans to create a course syllabus and once a syllabus is in place, courses can commence.

Noted: National rules state that there is an EU exemption for small quantities. This is not defined; FSAI has requested legal advice on the exemption ‘Are you exempt if small quantities have not yet been defined?’ There are problems getting this into law as FSAI does not have the mandate to draft legislation.

Action: Farmers Market Survey was concluded by Teagasc at the end of 2009, and has been completed. PD will send completed survey to EL to be made available to the Forum.

Noted: DGD and DA held a meeting regarding the understanding of artisan production methods for enforcement officers which was tabled on the agenda at the last meeting.

Agreed: Following further discussion and organisation, it was agreed FSAI would hold a workshop to share information and for producers to showcase some of their methods.

Noted: DA raised the issue of a possible safe guard group that could help keep small businesses in business. A group of possibly 6-7 people that could help find solutions for problems they may be having with regard to regulations and legislation.

Action: DA will send a formal proposal to DGD.

Noted: There was a discussion on the use of blood for black pudding making.

Action: JM will issue a fact sheet on harvesting fresh blood for pudding making

Noted: WA has done some research on sourdough bread in relation to coeliacs and has notified the FSAI Chief Specialist in Public Health and Nutrition. The FSAI would like to come to an opinion on this matter but have requested more information regarding the product but to date have not received it.

Noted: The issue of smoked chicken was raised from the last meeting; WA is still waiting on more information from the member and will address issue once this has been received.

3. Agree Draft Agenda

Noted: The draft agenda was agreed subject to additions to AOB.

4. Update on Artisan Support – Pat Daly, Teagasc

Noted: Pat Daly gave a brief update on Teagasc

  • Involved in giving technical support to all food businesses
  • Providing information
  • Providing training and workshops
  • Providing one to one support to business that require such support
  • Committed to artisan producers
  • Innovation vouchers - €5,000 can be obtained from Enterprise Ireland

Action: OE to send web link with information regarding Enterprise Ireland innovation vouchers.

Noted: It was noted that SMcS was a great loss to the Artisan forum and to Teagasc. The remaining key personal are:

  • Eddie O’Neill – Dairy, Cheese makers
  • Carol Griffin deals with small meat businesses and
  • Paddy Ward also deals with small meat businesses.

Noted: ROR raised the issue of start up business packs and would request some information regarding the figure in the FSAI press release regarding businesses/people that had requested information about business start ups.

Action: WA to revert back with figures, data on information requests on the FSAI helpline.

Noted: PD also mentioned that there would be more training courses available in the autumn, dates have not yet been confirmed.

Action: PD to send information on training once it is available.

Action: TC informed the members of a support/fact booklet that has been published on all enterprise support services; TC will send information to ROR.

5. Human Illness Update – Lisa O’Connor

Noted: Lisa O’Connor gave a presentation entitled ‘Foodborne illness in Ireland’ and the main points of her presentation were:

  • How foodborne illness is reported and investigated in Ireland
  • Details of foodborne outbreaks in Ireland
  • Can be caused by a number of microorganisms – Salmonella, Campylobacter, Norovirus, E. coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Trichinella, Mycobacterium bovis
  • Can be transmitted by other routes other than food e.g. person-person, water, animal contact
  • Depending on the bug and/or the person infected, symptoms vary from self-limiting gastroenteritis to meningitis, miscarriage, kidney failure, death
  • Infectious Diseases Regulations, lists infectious diseases which must be notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) e.g. Measles, Salmonellosis, Influenza, Campylobacter infection, Noroviral infection, Cryptosporidiosis
  • HPSC collate, analyse and report this data
  • Most common infectious diseases in Ireland which can be transmitted by food: Salmonella, Camplyobacter, Norovirus, AIG (Acute Infectious Gastroenteritis) and Cryptosporidium.

Agreed: ROR questioned the results in comparison to the EU. OE will send link to EU results from the EFSA zoonosis report

Noted: Several questions arose from the presentation including the ways in which to control some of these illnesses. It was stated that the FSAI Scientific Committee is looking at ways in which to control these, especially Camplyobacter. There is no difference in the type of breed of bird; it is very common for birds to have Camplyobacter and it does not affect the birds.

Noted: The issue of duck eggs was raised by WA. There are a number of people ill from eating duck eggs. It was traced back and it was found that they have Salmonella. The FSAI will release a press statement later today regarding this. The FSAI is in the process of investigating the issue.

Agreed: OE will send link to presentation to members.

6. Allergens Alerts – Dorothy Guina Dornan, FSAI

Noted: DGD informed members of a new service within the Alerts section. The FSAI runs food alerts on our website and also runs a food alerts text message service. Due to a large increase in the number of allergen alerts, they have broken the alerts section into two. The food alerts will continue as normal with the addition of a new allergen alerts section.

7. The Use of Mobile Abattoirs for Poultry – John Matthews, FSAI

Noted: A discussion ensued regarding the use of mobile abattoirs for poultry slaughter and the disposal of the waste water. It was explained that a meeting would need to take place to discuss this matter and would need to include many agencies e.g. Teagasc, EPA, FSAI, Department of Agriculture.

Noted: DA will contact Teagasc to arrange a meeting.

8. Facilitating small poultry producers wrt regulation – Donal O’Mahony

Noted: Donal O’Mahony gave a presentation entitled ‘Small Scale on Farm Poultry Slaughter’ and the main points of her presentation were:

  • Ten large scale approved poultry slaughterhouses, three of these plants account for 80% of total poultry meat output
  • DAFF approved plants may kill up to 10,000 birds per hour
  • On farm poultry slaughter represents a very small proportion of annual kill
  • Local Authority Veterinary Service supervises all poultry slaughterhouses killing less than 150,000 birds/year
  • Large amount of flexibility in legislation for small scale producers provided certain criteria are met:
  • Poultry must be grown and reared on the farm where they are slaughtered.
  • Poultry must be slaughtered on this farm.
  • No more than 10,000 birds per year throughput, no more than 1,000 in any one week.
  • The meat must be supplied only within 100km radius of the farm.
  • Supply must be direct to the final consumer e.g. farm gate sales, local retailer, and local restaurant
  • Important food hygiene, welfare and other legislation still applies as individuals involved are food business operators
  • All on-farm poultry slaughter operators are required to be registered and should contact the relevant local authority in relation to this
  • Disparate sector- no clear specific representative body
  • Producers should make use of information/guidance/resources to ensure they are informed of legislative requirements:
    • FSAI publications/guidance
    • Local Authorities
    • Teagasc run various courses for artisan poultry sector

Noted: A discussion regarding animal by-product and the cost of it to be removed from the farm ensued. It can be a big financial burden to small business as the collection of by-product is costly. A suggestion of burying or composting the by-product was discussed. FSAI indicated that methods of ABP disposal were outside the remit of the FSAI and falls into that of DAFF.

Noted: An issue regarding inspection consistency was raised. Members were interested in the number of visits low risk businesses were likely to get per year. FSAI indicated that inspection frequency was based on an individual risk assessment of each premises in question.

Noted: DA raised an issue of on-farm slaughter for small poultry farms, there is a massive cost issue sending birds to slaughter houses, along with animal welfare issues and quality issues, the loss of time taking birds to slaughter houses.

Action: It was noted that there could possibly be funding or grand aid for such project. DA will contact LEADER to source information about funding. DA will also raise the issue of loss or damage of by-products when sent to slaughterhouse with a local veterinary inspector.

9. Labelling of meat, esp. poultry, at butcher shops – Anne Marie Boland

Noted: Anne Marie Boland gave a presentation entitled ‘Origin labelling of meat’ and the main points of her presentation were:

  • Mandatory labelling requirements for certain meats
  • Mandatory country of origin labelling
  • Country of origin labelling in the general labelling legislation
  • Origin labelling and the proposed changes to labelling legislation
  • The proposed changes are expected to be discussed at a plenary meeting of the European Parliament by end of May 2010 now proposed to take place at the mid June meeting)

10. Correspondence & AOB

Noted: DA raised an issue of the expense of coming to the meetings of the Artisan Forum. Some members would need to avail of expenses but not all. WA was receptive to the notion of reimbursing travel expenses. WA suggested money could be found if cost were saved by moving the October meeting from Cork to Dublin, therefore saving on room hire etc.

Action: WA will draft a view on the issue and at hand and will send to members to review.

11. Confirm dates for next meeting in 2010

Noted: The date for the next meeting was provisionally set as 28th of October but it will be confirmed by email.

Last reviewed: 20/5/2011

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